Primary Source Packet: Native Minnesota: Dakota & Ojibwe Homeland

Use primary sources in your classroom to learn about Dakota and Ojibwe homeland.

The Native Minnesota: Dakota and Ojibwe Homeland Primary Source Packet provides resources that familiarize students with historical and contemporary Dakota and Ojibwe people in Minnesota and Indigenous connections to the land.

Cost: $20ORDER


  • 22 Reproductions of Primary Sources
  • Discussion questions, context, guiding questions for each source.

Sources included:

  • Projectile point, between 6000 and 800 BCE.
  • Jeffers Petroglyphs, approximately 5000 BCE.
  • Grand Mound, approximately 2,000 years ago.
  • St. Croix stamped ceramic vessel, not later than 640 CE.
  • Hydrographical basin of the upper Mississippi River from astronomical and barometrical observations, surveys, and information, Joseph Nicollet, 1843.
  • Permanent residence, Sioux, Seth Eastman, 1846–1848.
  • Dakota beaded hide gun case, 1862.
  • Dakota girl at Mendota, 1880.
  • Chief Good Thunder and wife, Sarah, with Charles and Emma Good Thunder, and son Andrew, 1900.
  • Ojibwe family outside their dwelling, making miniature canoes, Lake Mille Lacs, 1910.
  • Dakota painted parfleche container, 1911.
  • Fishing spear, between 1918 and 1959.
  • Fish houses, Cameron Booth, 1923.
  • Harvesting wild rice near Walker, Monroe Killy, 1939.
  • When the chaff has been blown away, the wild rice is finally ready for market, Gordon R. Sommers, 1940.
  • Ojibwe wood ricing sticks, Robert Gawboy, Jr. (Bois Forte), 1940–1960.
  • Amos Owen (Mdewakanton), putting the finishing touches on a buffalohead pipe, Pipestone National Monument, Rancy Croce, 1978.
  • Spearfishing on Mille Lacs, Charles Rasmussen, 1998.
  • Ojibwe birchbark box and cover, Melvin Losh (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe), 2001.
  • Ojibwe birchbark scraped winnowing basket, Pat and Gage Kruse (Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), 2014-2015.
  • Star quilt, Gwen Westerman (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), 2014.
  • Pawnee quarrier Aaron Prim, Pipestone National Monument, National Parks Service, 2019.

St. Croix stamped ceramic vessel, not later than 640 CE.

Star quilt, Gwen Westerman (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), 2014.

Harvesting wild rice near Walker, Monroe Killy, 1939.

Academic standards alignment

The Native Minnesota: Dakota and Ojibwe Homeland Primary Source Packet is designed to engage your students and enrich their ability to read and analyze primary sources. Incorporating these sources, or adapting the questions and activities for other sources, into your teaching will help meet your curricular objectives and academic standards, whether they are content or skills related.

We have aligned this packet with state and national standards and benchmarks for grades 6–12. The links below outline the standards alignment for this packet.

National standards

Minnesota standards

Related resources

Dakota language resources:

Ojibwe language resources:

Ojibwe (Anishinaabemowin) and Dakota words used throughout packet


Anishinaabeg (ah-hih-shih-NAH-bayg): plural of Anishinaabe meaning Ojibwe, a person, a human

Bawa’iganaakoog (bah-wah-EE-gahn-AHK-oog): multiple sticks used to knock rice grains off the wild rice stalks

Manoomin (muh-NOH-mihn): wild rice

Wiigiwaaman (wig-ee-WAH-man): wigwams, lodges


Bdewakaƞtuƞwan (buh-day-WAH-kahn-too-wah): spiritual people who live by water

Bdote (beh-DOH-tay): where two rivers come together at a junction; Mendota, Minnesota, where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers come together

Canunpa (cha-NOO-pah): pipe

Ihaƞktuƞwaƞ (ee-HAHNK-too-wah):people who live at the edge of the great forest

Ihaƞktuƞwaƞna (ee-HAHNK-too-wah-nah): those scattered at the edge of the forest

Inyan sa (EE-yah sha): red stone, Pipestone

Mni Sota Makoce (mNEE SO-tah mah-KO-chay): the land where the waters reflect the sky

Oceti Ṡakowiƞ (oh-CHE-tee shah-KOH wee): the Seven Council Fires

Psiƞ (pSEE): wild rice

Sisituƞwaƞƞ (see-SEE-to-wah): medicine people who live by water

Taha wojuha (tah-HAH woah-JOO-hah): parfleche case

Tiƞtuƞwaƞ (TEE-too-wah): dwellers of the plains

Wahpekute (wahk-PAY-koo-tay): warriors who shoot from the leaves 

Wahpetuƞwaƞ (wahk-PAY-too-wah): people who live in the forest

Wita Tanka (WEE-ta TAN-ka): Great island; in English, Pike Island at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers