Minnesotan/American Culture

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The north star state, the gopher state, and the land of ten thousand lakes – Minnesota. All of these are names for a piece of land, with invisible boundaries, in the Midwestern United States. It is within those invisible boundaries that a complex and diverse history unfolds. Established in 1858 as a state, Minnesota’s history starts long before then. Before Minnesota was Minnesota, this land was inhabited by Native Americans, specifically the Dakota, Ojibwe, and the Ho-Chunk. In time, the European settlers started to move into Minnesota, drastically changing the course of history. Although there is a long history before this point, this book will begin telling Minnesota’s history starting at this point in time. Throughout this book, five themes…show more content…
This means that the diverse people began to adopt and adapt a Minnesotan/ American culture. For some, this was done willing like, but for others, like the natives, assimilation was forced upon them. This forced assimilation did not happen at the first contact between the Natives and the European settlers. Instead, the opposite happened, fur traders adopted aspects of the Native culture. Specifically, the European fur traders adopted the dress of Native Americans For example, the majority of the fur traders wore moccasins (Lahlum, 23 Jan 2017). As time moved forward, the relationship between Europeans and Natives started to change, and with this change came forced assimilation. For the Natives, the Europeans saw the forced assimilation as there way of civilizing them (Lahlum, 22 Feb 2017). One of the main features of forced assimilation was Indian Boarding schools. In these schools, they teach the Native children English and Christianity (Laliberte, Natives, Neighbors, and the National Game, 2010). On the other hand, the immigrants from Germany and Scandinavia willingly adapted there culture to include aspects of Minnesota/ American Culture. In the Norwegians, the assimilation can be seen in the changes in farming, and in the clothing they wore (Lahlum, 22 Feb 2017). In addition to this, the article “Triple Jeopardy: The Muus v. Muus Case in Three Forums” portrays that…show more content…
From the time of first contact to the 1880’s, the relationship between the Natives and settlers was continually changing. During the fur trade, the relationship that developed between the natives and the traders was a one without major issues. But as the fur trade began to decline, the relationship between the Natives and the settlers started to decline as well. A catalyst for this change were the treaties that the Natives signed that sold their portions land to the settlers. These treaties, the Treaty of Traverse de Sioux and Mendota, were supposed to establish the permanent homes of these natives, but this did not happen (Treaty of Mendota, 1851; Treaty of Traverse de Sioux, 1851). Instead, these treaties were the start of settlers pushing Natives onto small reservations or out of the state completely. In addition to signing the treaties, the Natives were coerced into signing the Traders’ Papers. The Traders’ Papers stipulated that any payment that was made to the Dakota for their land would first go to the traders to cover their debts (Lahlum, 23 Jan 2017). When the Dakota signed these papers, they were never translated, so they did not know what they were signing (Lahlum, 23 Jan 2017). These treaties and the traders’ papers were a turning point in the relationship between the Natives and the settlers. Before them, the relationship was peaceful and without
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