“Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the Dakota Culture for Future Generations”

From: Perry Altendorfer, MMDTC Historian To: All Lineal Descendants, Signers and First Original Families relating to the 1830 Prairie du Chein Treaty.  We are currently updating our files, adding articles and documentation that involves families related to this treaty. Please see attached document:

M550 Part5 Johnsons and Jones Report 1856


Please contact Perry with questions or comments.



The majority of the ancestors of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community can be traced back to Mendota, Minnesota in the 1700s.

This non-profit organization is dedicated to preserving our Dakota heritage. We have over 125 current members in good standing. Many members meet monthly in Mendota, Minnesota at the DuPuis House. Members in good standing pay their contributions each month. Without their contributions Mendota would have to close our doors. We also have honorary members who choose to pay their contributions to Mendota. If you want to become an honorary member the application is on our website under downloads.

The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community is working on regaining and keeping its culture and heritage so that future generations of people from all walks of live can learn and will know about the Dakota culture.


The name Mendota is a French misinterpretation of the Dakota word Mdo-Te. Mdo-Te (pronounced Bdoh Tay) means the mouth of a river or a meeting of waters. In this instance it is the Mdo-TE of the Wakpa (River) Mni-sota (less than clear or smoky water.) The French explorer Joseph Nicollet visited this region in the late 1830’s. Nicollet was told by Dakota Elders at that time that the area around Mendota was considered by the Mdewakanton (Bday-wah kahn toon) Dakota People to be the middle of all things and the exact center of the earth. Our people have been here for centuries but appear in history in connection with the earliest French and English Traders.

Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, President Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark up the Missouri River, and Lt. Zebulon Pike up the Mississippi to see what had been purchased. Lt. Pike negotiated a treaty in 1805 with our people for two parcels of land for the establishment of military posts. The first parcel was a nine-mile square of land centered on the confluence of the St.Croix and Mississippi Rivers. The second parcel was an ambiguous piece of land from just above the falls of St.Anthony to just below the mouth of the St. Pierre (St. Peters) River (The Minnesota) and extending nine miles on either side of the Mississippi River.

Despite the huge acquisition of some 100 square miles of land, the army did not appear here again until 1819. A temporary post was established on the bottomland of the Minnesota River for the first winter. Because of unhealthy conditions on the bottomland, a permanent post was established across the river on the promontory where Fort Snelling now stands. The army was camped at a sacred spring of the Dakota people (Coldwater Spring) for the time it took to build the magnificent limestone fort of which today’s fort is a replica. An Indian Agency was established outside the fort and the traders from the American Fur Company set up headquarters across the river at Mendota. This was the beginning of the white man’s history of the area.

Most of the traders, agency employees and military personnel took Dakota women as wives. This was the beginning of the kinship ties that have bound our people to this area till the present day. In this setting we have been much assimilated by white society, but continue to maintain cultural and religious ties to our Dakota ancestors.

Contact us for Information is available on details of the early French and English explorers in the area that became Minnesota.

Dakota Families Of Mendota

Many are Descendants of Cetanwakanmani some are related to Taoyateduta (Little Crow)

The majority of the members of MMDC are from one of the families listed below. The ancestry for most goes back to the French fur traders who married Dakota women. In late 1875, the Reverend David Buel Knickerbacker estimated there were approximately 75 Dakota living in Mendota, on land owned by Henry Sibley. Sibley and others tried unsuccessfully to get the government to grant land or money for the land for the Mendota people. When Sibley died in 1891, our people were made to leave the land. They moved to the old river road in Mendota, but were again forced to move in 1952, when the state acquired the land. Many stayed in the area surrounding Mendota.

In an excerpt from the Hastings Gazette in a column called “Mendota Items” dated Saturday, February 13, 1886, it states “Everybody goes to St. Paul this week to see the carnival. Most of the Indians on the palace grounds are from here (Mendota).” In an interview with Mary Louise Reding Auge in 1961, her recollections include summer church picnics at Duncans Lake (since renamed Augusta Lake). ” The picnic grounds were on the west shore nearest Mendota, while across the lake on ground now occupied by Resurrection Cemetery, were row after row of Indian lodges. The young people would walk along the lake shore and watch the woman prepare corn meal by cracking kernels between stones, and listen to their strange chatter in the Dakota tongue.” She also stated, without wishing to unnecessarily rattle family skeletons, that many families of French descent in northern Dakota County could boast of more than a little Indian blood in their veins.

The following names are in no particular order.



















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