Joseph Renville, a fur trader of French and Indian descent and an early settler in what is now Minnesota, was influential in seeing how the Dakota Indians would soon be impacted by the coming Europeans. He invited early missionaries to come to his fort to establish a mission and school. Through him some of the early contacts were made between whites and native Americans that led to development of the Dakota alphabet, teaching materials in Dakota, teaching farming methods, and establishment of Christianity among that group of Dakota people, including translating the Bible into the Dakota language. Renville set in motion the circumstances that provided for early positive contacts between native Americans and Europeans in that part of the state. Those contacts provided a bridge that spanned the two worlds and whose benefits are still present today.
~Lois C. Willand, Minneapolis, MN