Native American Heritage

Indigenous people have lived in what is now Minnesota for thousands of years. At the time when Europeans arrived to the "New World," the predominant American Indian tribe was the Dakota. As explorers and settlers moved west, the Ojibwe, who lived in the central Great Lakes region, were forced into Dakota territory. The resulting migration and conflict ultimately resulted in the Dakota residing primarily in the prairies of the Minnesota River Valley and points south and west, while the Ojibwe inhabited the lakes and forests of north and central Minnesota.

Ojibwe (or Anishinaabe) and Dakota (Lakota) heritage figure strongly in Minnesota’s past and its present. Use the links below to discover some of the best places to admire tribal artistry, learn about their histories, and appreciate their cultures through storytelling and music. There are also several American Indian-owned casinos throughout the state.