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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Churchill in Chippewa County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Acculturation & Autonomy

 
 
Acculturation & Autonomy Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, June 29, 2021
1. Acculturation & Autonomy Marker
Inscription.  "What is old is not good. What is new is good. Think only on the new. In that way, by degrees you will be able to attain something. That is the way. Among other peoples beyond ours, men consider that alone.... The Dakotas are getting where they have nothing to depend upon. Therefore apply yourselves to the one thing you can depend upon....Bestir yourselves. Apply yourselves. Look both ways!"
- Joseph Renville, exhortation to Dakotas, winter 1838

Christianity, the missionaries brought cultural innovations like deep-furrow agriculture, the manufacture of cloth, and literacy. But the Mission had no power to compel anyone to adopt new ways. The Federal government was not yet coercing cultural change as it would on reservation in years to come. Wahpeton people remained in control of their lives, picking and choosing aspects of western culture that suited them.

So why did any Dakota people choose to change aspects of their traditional life ways? Dakota people have always been resourceful and adaptive. They counseled together and made decisions in the best interests of their kin. Survival and well-being

Reconstructed Lac qui Parle Mission Chapel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, June 29, 2021
2. Reconstructed Lac qui Parle Mission Chapel
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depended on it.

The missionaries were disappointed that Dakota people adopted elements of western culture far more readily than they embraced Christianity. Change came slowly at Lac qui Parle. But over two decades, as the natural environment continued to change and the settlement of outsiders in Minnesota increased, the evidence mounted. Men like Simon Anawangmani, a warrior who took up farming in 1840 to supplement his family's hunting and gathering, often had more to share with their relatives when times were hard.

Hazelwood Republic
On August 26, 1854, Stephen Riggs informed Gov. Willis Gorman:

"This movement at Hazlewood is one of progress. Some twelve or fifteen men (chiefly young) with small families, who have made progress in civilization and education, some of them wearing white men's clothes, are making arrangements to have separate farms there. The call for a new [mission] station there came from them.”

The families were from Lac qui Parle. They were recognized as the Hazlewood Republic, an autonomous band of Christian farmers, in 1856. In 1862, they formed the nucleus of the Peace Party, opposing the Dakota War and helping settlers.

Captions: Top left:
In this letter, dated February 16, 1837 Joseph Plympton (commandant of Fort Snelling) informs missionary Samuel Pond that

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Pond's contract with Lawrence Taliaferro to provide farming instruction to the Dakota under the Sioux Treaty of 1837 has been approved.
Top right: Simon Anawangmani, Leader of the Hazelwood Republic

 
Erected by Minnesota Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureChurches & ReligionNative AmericansWars, US Indian. A significant historical year for this entry is 1840.
 
Location. 45° 1.416′ N, 95° 52.09′ W. Marker is near Churchill, Minnesota, in Chippewa County. Marker can be reached from 140th Avenue Northwest (County Road 32) near 1st Street West (County Road 13). Located the the Lac qui Parle Mission State Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Watson MN 56295, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Williamson Cabin (a few steps from this marker); Missionaries at Lac qui Parle (a few steps from this marker); Dakotas at Lac qui Parle (a few steps from this marker); The ABCFM (a few steps from this marker); Huggins Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dakota (within shouting distance of this marker); Lac qui Parle Mission (within shouting distance of this marker); Lac qui Parle Mission & Fort Renville (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Churchill.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 4, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 8, 2022