We are on Dakota homelands.

Here you will find two Dakota land maps which tell the past, present and future of Dakota people and language.

Audio and language is provided by Dawi. Art is by Marlena Myles. We have prints and free  8.5″ x 11″ prints available for download. Scroll down for info on ordering prints and to learn to speak Dakota! We are currently working on more in the series.

Areas covered so far:

  1. Minneapolis (Village of Many Lakes) & St Paul (Village along the White Cliffs)
    Download 8.5″ x 11″ free print /// Jump to audio ]

  2. Prairie Island • Red Wing (Beautiful Village of the Bluffs-Water-Woods) • Winona
    Download 8.5″ x 11″ free print /// Jump to audio ]

About the creators

Art:

Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota, Mohegan, Muscogee) is a self-taught digital artist located in St Paul, Minnesota. She uses her art to celebrate her Indigenous culture & language as well as helping the public understand the significance of Native oral traditions and history. She has illustrated two children’s books, Kikta wo/Kikta ye for the Lower Sioux Community and her latest Thanku: Poems About Gratitude, published September 2019 by Millbrook Press (Lerner Publishing Group).

Language:

Dawí (Huhá Máza) is a lineal descendant of the Santee Sioux tribe of Nebraska, forcibly removed from Minnesota homelands in the 1860s. He lives in Minneapolis, where he is Assistant Producer at Dakhóta iápi Okhódakičhiye, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to Dakota language for the home, community, and classroom. Inquiries for school visits can be made via email at huhamaza@dakhota.org.

Download print of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Map:

I am offering a free 8.5″x11″ PDF poster for printing.

Larger versions available at cost (shipping included):

  • 12″x16″ print on watercolor paper would be $30
  • 18″x24″ print on watercolor paper would be $50
  • 24″x32″ print on watercolor paper would be $75
  • 36″x48″ print on watercolor paper would be $125

Please email me at me@marlenamyl.es to inquire about prints and please mention which map (or both) that you are interested in. Pidamaya (thanks).

Dakhóta Thamákhočhe: Bde Óta Othúŋwe & Imnížaska Othúŋwe

Dakota Land Map: Minneapolis (Village of Many Lakes) & St Paul (Village along the White Cliffs)

A number of these locations and their Dakota history can be researched at the Bdote Memory Map.  Other resources are linked via their name in the list. Feel free to share this resource with your classrooms!

Historic Dakota villages & locations

  1. Ȟeyata Otuŋwe (Village)
  2. Kap’óža Othúŋwe (Village)
  3. Wakháŋ Thípi (Spirit Cave) [Carver’s Cave]
  4. Oȟéyawahe (A Sacred Place Much Visited; The Place Where People Go For Burials) [Pilot Knob]
  5. Bdóte (Where Two Rivers Meet)
  6. Íŋyaŋšá (Red Rock)
  7. Maȟpíya Ȟóta Wiŋ Wíta (Grey Cloud Woman Island) [Grey Cloud Island]
  8. Wíta Tháŋka (Large Island) [Pike Island]
  9. Wíta Wašté (Beautiful Island) [Nicollet Island]

Pronunciation audio

Eháŋna Wičháhapi (Burial Mounds)

There are over 12,000 burial mounds ranging from a hundred to several thousand years old in the state of Minnesota. Many are located in the Twin Cities including at Oȟéyawahe (Pilot Knob), Mound Springs Park, Indian Burial Mounds Park, Maȟpíya Ȟóta Wiŋ Wíta (Grey Cloud Island) & surrounding Mní iá Tháŋka (Lake Minnetonka).

Makhá Thó Otkéwičhayapi Wókiksuye

Every December, Dakota and allies honor through memorial runs & horse rides the 38+2 warriors who were hanged in Mankato, MN on Dec. 26, 1862.

Bodies of water:

  1. Wíta Tópa Bde (Four Islands Lake) [Lake of the Isles]
  2. Bde Makhá Ska (White Earth Lake)
  3. Bde Umáŋ (Other Lake) [Lake Harriet]
  4. Mní iá Tháŋka (Lake which is Large) [Lake Minnetonka]
  5. Mníȟaȟa Wakpádaŋ (Falling Water Creek) [Minnehaha Creek]
  6. Wakpá Tháŋka (Large River) [Mississippi River]
  7. Mní Iȟpáyedaŋ (Falling Down Waters) [Mníȟaȟa Falls]
  8. Mniówe Sní (Coldwater Springs)
  9. Mnísota Wakpá (Clear Waters Reflecting the Blue Skies River) (Minnesota River)
  10. Owámniyomni (Three Whirlpools) (St. Anthony Falls)

Pronunciation audio

Other locations

  1. Bde Óta Othúŋwe Wókaǧe Owápazo Thípi – Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  2. Mnísota Wóuŋspe Wakántuya – University of MN
  3. Isáŋthaŋka Akíchita Thípi- Fort Snelling
  4. Mnísota Makhóbašpe Thuŋkášidaŋyaŋpi Thípi – Minnesota Capitol Building
  5. Thabškáta Oškád Thípi – Basketball Arena
  6. Čhaȟkázo thakápsiča oškád thípi- Hockey Arena
  7. Thabnákhapapi oškád makhóčhe – Football Field
  8. Thabʼáphapi Oškád Makhóčhe – Baseball Field
  9. Isáŋthaŋka Mazóphiye Tháŋka – Largest Mall in America
  10. Othúŋwe ȟemáni thothó – Green Line Train
  11. Othúŋwe ȟemáni thó – Blue Line Train
  12. Wátakiŋyaŋ Oínažiŋ – MSP Airport
  13. Wamániča Okáške Thípi – Minnesota Zoo
  14. Odówaŋ Thípi – Concert Hall

Pronunciation audio

Dakhóta Thamákhočhe: Thíŋta Wíta • Ȟemníčhaŋ Othúŋwe Wašté • Winúŋna

Dakota Land Map: Prairie Island • Red Wing (Beautiful Village of the Bluffs-Water-Woods) • Winona


To Dakota people, the names of the locations often tell a bigger story. One such example tells of how Ȟemníčhaŋ (Barn Bluff) was split into two. Two Dakota villages fought over the possession of the sacred bluff. As a compromise, the Great Spirit divided it into half and moved the other portion downriver to what’s known today as Wabasha’s Hat in Winona (a portion is said to have fallen at Trempealeau Mountain as well).

 Download print of the

Prairie Island – Red Wing – Winona Map:

I am offering a free 8.5″x11″ PDF poster for printing.

Larger versions available at cost (shipping included):

  • 12″x16″ print on watercolor paper would be $30
  • 18″x24″ print on watercolor paper would be $50
  • 24″x32″ print on watercolor paper would be $75
  • 36″x48″ print on watercolor paper would be $125

Please email me at me@marlenamyl.es to inquire about prints and please mention which map (or both) that you are interested in. Pidamaya (thanks).

Wakíŋyaŋ & Uŋktéȟi of Ȟemníčhaŋ Othúŋwe Wašté

Wakíŋyaŋ is the thunder being, the messenger of Íŋyaŋ (Stone Spirit) which exists on Ȟemníčhaŋ (Barn Bluff). Dakota also believe there are Uŋktéȟi (underwater serpents) in the waters of Lake Pepin.

 

Near Ȟemníčhaŋ Othúŋwe Wašté (Red Wing, Minnesota), there are numerous burial mounds and in one set, there contains a thunderbird effigy. Scientists have studied it to note there’s a much higher frequency of lightning strikes there than in comparison to other locations. Thunderbolts also represents the connection between life and death, earth and sky, as it connects land with the heavens (and the Milky Way we believe to travel in the afterlife). These Dakota beliefs are mirrored in the scientific understanding of lightning as an energy-balancing transfer between the positively charged earth and negatively charged thunderclouds.

 

Wakíŋyaŋ is considered the protector of humans from Uŋktéȟi, the underwater serpent who brings about drownings, floods and mysterious deaths because of their deep dislike of people. The two are locked forever in war with humans in the middle as the Wakíŋyaŋ cannot chase them once they’re in the waters.

Eháŋna Wičháhapi (Burial Mounds)

There are over 20,000 burial mounds ranging from a hundred to several thousand years old in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Many are located in the area including at Ȟemníčhaŋ (Barn Bluff), Buffalo Slough, and Mní Čháŋ Kašká (Trempealeau Mountain).

Historic Dakota villages & current cities

  1. Thíŋta Wíta (Prairie Island)
  2. Ȟemníčhaŋ Othúŋwe Wašté (Beautiful Village of Bluffs-Water-Woods) [Red Wing]
  3. Mniówe (Spring Water) [Wabasha]
  4. Thípi Óta (Many Lodges) [Kellogg]
  5. Ȟupáhu Thathíŋta (Prairie Of The Wings) [Winona area]

Pronunciation audio

Bodies of water:

  1. Wakpá Tháŋka (Big River) [Mississippi River]
  2. Mniská Wakpá (Cloudy Water River) [Whitewater River]
  3. Wazí Ožú Wakpá (Pine Grove River) [Zumbro River]
  4. Ȟé Wašté Wakpá (Pretty Hill River) [Eau Galle River]
  5. Íŋyaŋ Bosdáta Wakpá (Standing [Upright] Rock River) [Cannon River]
  6. Mayá Šá Wakpá (Red Bluff River) [Rush River]
  7. Ičápšiŋpšiŋčadaŋ Wakpádaŋ [Shallow River]
  8. Sápa Wakpá (Black River)
  9. Ȟaȟá Sápa (Black Falling Water) [Black River Falls]
  10. Tháŋka Bdé (Big Lake) [Lake Pepin]
  11. Bdé Ȟé Wašté (Pretty Hill Lake) [Lake Eau Galle]
  12. Šakhíya Thabdé (He Paints Himself Red Lake) [Sturgeon Lake]
  13. Íŋyaŋ Hmihmá (Round Stone) [Rollingstone Creek]

Pronunciation audio

Other places of note

  1. Íŋyaŋ Thiyópa (Stone Door) [Frontenac State Park]
  2. Winúŋna Hiyúič’iye (Winúŋna Leaps) [Maiden Rock Bluff]
  3. Wahíŋkpe Káǧapi (Makes Arrow) [Bow And Arrow Effigy]
  4. Thíŋta Winúŋna (Prairie Of The First Born Daughter) [Winona Prairie]

Pronunciation audio

Bluffs

  1. Ȟemníčhaŋ (Bluff-water-woods) [Barn Bluff]
  2. Mní Čháŋ Kašká (Water Wood To-Tie-Something) [Trempealeau Mountain]
  3. Íŋyaŋ Máza Sú (Iron Stone Bullets) [Red Wing Bluffs @ Memorial Park, Red Wing]
  4. Mayá Siŋtéȟda (Rattlesnake Tail Bluff) [Rattlesnake Hill / Pepin Heights Orchard]
  5. Oná Wóžupiptaŋ Iphá (Prairie-Fire Garden-To-Turn-Over Point) [Diamond Bluff]
  6. Ȟé Wašté (Pretty Hills)
  7. Waŋmdí Hoȟpí (Eagle Nest)
  8. Wapháha Ša Pahá (Wabasha’s Hat) [Sugarloaf Hill] 

Pronunciation audio

Modern locations

    1. Wátakiŋyaŋ Oínažiŋ – Airport
    2. Asáŋpi Niní Káǧa Thípi Iyótaŋ Wašté – Best Creamery 
    3. Ȟemáni Oínažiŋ – Amtrak Train
    4. Wayékiya Thípi – Casino
    5. Kakáŋpi Máǧa – Sculpture Garden
    6. Wíškate Mazóphiye – Toy Store
    7. Háŋpa káǧa thípi – Shoe Factory
    8. Phétawata – Paddleboat
    9. Naíč’ihmihma Očháŋku – Bike Trail
    10. Mni Akáŋ Osdóhaŋ Kič’úŋ – Water skiing
    11. Akhíd Thiípasotka – Fire tower (lookout)

Pronunciation audio

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