Road Trippin’ – American Indian Studies Style

Guest blogger: Christy Vosika, Century Middle School, Lakeville

There are so many ways to further investigate Minnesota’s American Indian roots and I feel lucky to live in a state that seems to embrace its history.  I am also fortunate to teach with someone that is willing to get her Minnesota Studies “nerd” on and go to these historic sites with me.   We even drag our poor children with.  We have both been teaching 6th grade MN Studies in Lakeville for the last four years and each year we plan a history-geek site trip.  For my blog post, I thought I would go over some past American Indian specific trips as well as some that we have been dreaming about getting to.  I hope you enjoy our pictures of our rowdy good times!

Past Trips

Jeffers Petroglyphs

“Amid the prairie grasses are islands of uncovered rock, where American Indian ancestors left carvings — petroglyphs — humans, deer, elk, buffalo, turtles, thunderbirds, atlatls and arrows. They tell a story that spans more than 7,000 years.” –

Lower Sioux Agency

“Established in 1853 by the U.S. government as the administrative center of the newly created Dakota reservation and the site of the first organized attack in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. A history center exhibit explores the Dakota story before, during and after the War. Self-guided trails take visitors to the restored 1861 stone warehouse and the Redwood Ferry crossing.” –

Brown County Historical Society Museum

“Built in 1910 as the New Ulm Post Office, this brick German Renaissance-style building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the city’s most architecturally distinct structures. Inside, you’ll find an exhibit on the history of the Dakota War of 1862, an expansive historical display of Brown County’s Century Farms, and items from our Sister City of Ulm, Germany, proudly presented in the Ulm Room…Outside, you can view a map of Brown County’s most historically significant sites and an excellent painting of New Ulm during the Dakota War. “ –

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post

“The Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post includes a museum dedicated to telling the story of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and an adjacent restored 1930s trading post where visitors can find American Indian gifts from Mille Lacs artisans.”

North West Company Fur Post

“Step into a reconstructed fur post from the winter of 1804. Meet a French voyageur, a British fur trade clerk and visit an Ojibwe encampment. The visitor center houses an expansive exhibit gallery with a 24-foot birch canoe, a 30-foot tall stone fireplace and a gift shop. The Snake River heritage trails are open year round for hiking, snowshoeing and skiing.”


Road trip wish list

Bloomington River Rendezvous

“This wonderful festival is a chance to experience living history at the Pond-Dakota Mission Park in Bloomington, Minnesota. Its goal is to demonstrate the lifestyles of people living in Minnesota between 1830 and 1870 through story-telling and interactive, hands-on demonstration!”

Pipestone National Monument

“For countless generations, American Indians have quarried the red pipestone found at this site. These grounds are sacred to many people because the pipestone quarried here is carved into pipes used for prayer. Many believe that the pipe’s smoke carries one’s prayer to the Great Spirit. The traditions of quarrying and pipemaking continue here today.”

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