Saturday, July 19, 2008

Renville Family Reunion in Kittson County

Renville Family Reunion * August 30, 2008 * Caribou, Minnesota

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chief Little Crow

One of our native Minnesotan ancestors was Miniyuhe, daughter of Chief Big Thunder, of the village of Kaposia near Fort Snelling. Miniyuhe was wife of Joseph Renville I (1753-1806). Her brother was Chief Little Crow.

(From Famous Native Minnesotans; EMuseum; Minnesota State University, Mankato)

Little Crow was born Tayoyateduta (His Red Nation) in ca. 1810 in the Mdewakanton Dakota village of Kaposia. He was the first son of the chief, Wakenyantanka (Big Thunder), and his wife Minneakadawin (Woman Planting in Water) and the grandson of Chetanwakuamani, who was noted in history for signing the Zebulon Pike treaty of 1805. Little Crow grew to be a very ambitious man, and one without physical fear. He acquired a reputation of being a brave warrior. During these years, he also learned to read and write English. When his father accidentally shot and killed himself in 1846, Little Crow became the chief of his tribe. Two of his half-brothers attempted to assassinate him shortly thereafter, but only succeeded in wounding him. Little Crow banished them, and when they returned, had them executed.

When treaty negotiations began at Mendota in 1851, Little Crow was elected as the speaker for his tribe. After these negotiations were completed, he became the first chief to sign the Treaty of Traverse Des Sioux. Little Crow thought that this treaty would enable his people to "never be poor". This was not the case however. Almost immediately, trouble began. The government did not want the Sioux to own their own land, which was one of the stipulations of the treaty. Although they protested, the chiefs had no choice but to sign the revised treaty. Part of the money from the sale of the land was paid to traders instead of to the tribes, to be held in "trust" for future purchases. However, the Indians never saw any returns from the money.

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