The Dakota knew they weren't the only ones living in the world. They had lived in all directions surrounded by neighbors. Over to the North were the Assiniboine and the Cree. Over to the east were the Ho-Chunk and the Mesquakie. The Madan and Hidatsa made their homes to the west.
~Aries Hester Jr., Minneapolis, MN
What makes Minnesota - Minnesota? Let's go back long, long before 1858, to the original people who lived here and named this home. The Lakota and Dakota have a word mni (minne) which means water, and a word shota (sota) meaning smokey. There's no doubt that the original people knew sky-tinted waters as clouds reflected clearly in our sky blue waters ... but shota means smokey, so they honored the smoke of land-clearing peat fires which produced all this fertile soil in Mnishota! Pilamaya, mitakuye oyasin. Thank you, all my relations.
~Rebecca L. Landby, St. Paul, MN
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