cover image Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota

Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota

Gwen Westerman and Bruce White. Minnesota Historical Society (, $24.95 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-0-87351-869-7

Minnesota State University English and humanities professor Westerman and White (We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People) conducted intensive research to determine how the Dakota people thrived through the 19th century. Drawing from recorded interactions with Jesuit priests, French explorers like Pierre Le Sueur, and the Dakota themselves, the book examines all aspects of Dakota life. Academic in nature, the book profiles historical figures, deciphers myths, and cites treaties, creating a vivid tapestry of Dakota culture and how it adapted through interactions with settlers. As tensions rise between the Dakota and the Europeans, conflicts escalate, leaving the government struggling to contain the Dakota to “settlements.” Despite this, the Dakota continue to “reclaim Minnesota” and preserve their heritage. Though the history of Native Americans is often distilled to their conflicts with pilgrims and pioneers, Westerman and White offer a nuanced portrait of a marginalized people and the land they still call home. 50 b/w illus, 15 color images, 2 maps. (Sept.)