Taoyateduta led the Dakota who, when frustrated by years of unkept promises, attempted to push the immigrant settlers out of their homeland in Minnesota. Taoyateduta started the struggles over homeland that formally ended at Wounded Knee. Dakota were removed from their homeland though most had tried to compromise and work through the changes required of them.
~Terri Dinesen, Granite Falls, MN
I choose Taoyateduta because he transformed our country by leading his men into war, fighting for peace. Taoyateduta said, in his words, "He will die with you." His sharp memory, intelligence and confidence made him a natural leader. Also he was a soldier and a tough negotiator.
~Raul Hernandez, Minneapolis, MN
Dakota Chief of the Kaposia band at the time of the 1862 Dakota Conflict, Taoyateduta influenced the history of Minnesota in two distinct ways. He became famous as the leader of the worst Indian/government/settler conflict in the U.S. but also as a symbol of a culture and a people whose world was ending. As an individual, he was intelligent, astute and thoughtful. Renowned for his oratory and respected for his efforts to seek the best for his people, he has left a legacy of spirit which has helped many come to an understanding of the complexity and personal character which marked so many early territorial relationships between the Dakota and the whites. If it had not been for Taoyateduta, the 1862 Conflict may have resulted in even greater loss of life for both sides - or perhaps a very different ending for how the new State of Minnesota might have developed.
~Lois Glewwe, South St. Paul, MN
Most noted leader of the Dakota during the 1862 uprising which resulted in hundreds of deaths on both sides, the largest mass hanging in U.S. history in Mankato and the first concentration camp on Minnesota soil. Was killed near Hutchinson while gathering berries with his son, by a farmer to whom the state legislature later granted a bounty. Also reported present at the signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. A pivotal but often overlooked figure in state history.
~Doug Gray, Bloomington, MN