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Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Much of the focus on the Dakota people in Minnesota rests on the tragic events of the 1862 U.S.–Dakota War and the resulting exile that sent the majority of the Dakota to prisons and reservations beyond the state’s boundaries. But the true depth of the devastation of removal cannot be understood without a closer examination of the history of the Dakota people and their dee ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Minnesota Historical Society Press
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Liz Carlson
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mni Sota Makoce is a compelling history of the Dakota people and Minnesota. Like the beautiful quilt on the book's cover, this history carefully pieces together a wide variety of primary material in making an eloquent case that Minnesota is the Dakota homeland. Original sources dating back to specific Dakota creation stories and also including Dakota oral histories, French maps, and Euro-American art, photos, legal documents, journals, and letters are supplemented by recent historical, legal, an ...more
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Overall, I'm really glad I read this book. I'm a hardcore, dyed-in-the-wool Minnesotan, and yet I recently realized I know almost nothing about the state's history. Reading this book was really fascinating and informative, and I think it does an excellent job of explaining just how important Minnesota is to the Dakota--and how important the Dakota are to Minnesota.

That said, I did have some issues with the book. I found the pronunciation guide to be fairly unhelpful, and since the book constantl
Richard Rothaus
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Mni Sota Makoce is a new book with some new ideas. The roots of this book are in Dakota traditions, and it offers not only some new information, but also some 'new' ways to think about the land and the history of its peoples. ...more
I like this book and the information about the 1862 Dakota-US War. However, some of the background information at the beginning is confusing and the information could be presented in a more organized manner.
Jamie Wellik
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Groundbreaking look at Minnesota history before European settlement. Opens a whole new era on the history of the land and contact with settlers. A must-read.
Esther McLibrarian
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mn-history
Dense, but educational.
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciate this book.
C.E. G
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
It's powerful and righteously unsettling to read about the Dakota history of the land that I live on. ...more
Michael McNulty
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A spectacular book, ought to be required reading for any one living in Minnesota. So much about the history of the Dakota and the places of Minnesota & their significance. Both a tragic history and celebration of the Dakota. Honestly I won't be able to look the same at many areas and landmarks knowing their history and significance. ...more
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Here’s another great find that I may not have picked up hadn’t I been at the MN Book Awards the year this title won an award. It’s very unique; probably the first accurately written account of the plight of the Dakota people. Many Minnesotan’s have stories about the Dakota War. The land my family has occupied since 1859 was Dakota land; there are two burial mounds on our property; one side of the family was tipped off that “trouble is coming” and they headed back to the safety of Pennsylvania; t ...more
This is one of the most enlightening books I've ever read. I learned a lot of things about the area where I live, and when I learned them, I felt quite foolish that I'd never wondered about these things before. For example, I live near Rice Creek. Why is it named Rice Creek? Well, it might be named after Sen. Henry Mower Rice, one of the first senators from Minnesota. Or it might be named Rice Creek because wild rice, an important Dakota food source, once grew plentifully on its shores. The firs ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Awesome explanation and thorough listing of all the broken treaties between the whiet settlers and the Dakota. Eye opening.
Laura Waterman
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a compelling new way to look at an old story. It is steeped in good research and spares no one. We all should read this.
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This fascinating, engaging, and often heartbreaking history of the state now called Minnesota should be required reading for any and every citizen of the state.
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Gwen Westerman is a Dakota educator, writer and artist. She is the Director of the Native American Literature Symposium.

Westerman is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate and speaker of the Dakota language. She is Professor of English and Director of the Humanities Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Westerman received a BA and MA in English from Oklahoma State Univer

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