Dakota – Assiniboine Battle: Napinka

(1830) A battle between the Dakota and Assiniboine occurred northeast of present-day Napinka in 1830.

Stories

#At home in southwest Manitoba for centuries The Assiniboine were once a Nation that occupied a territory that spanned the prairie provinces (including southwest Manitoba) and parts of the northern United States. Once numbering 10,000 strong, the Assiniboine spent at least two centuries hunting bison on the plains surrounding Turtle Mountain, and in later years actively participated in the fur trade on the Souris River. [[inline:left:assiniboine-camp]] ##Legend The Assiniboine were members of the Yanktonai arm of the Dakota Nation, who lived in the western forests of what is now Minnesota. The Assiniboine broke off from the Yanktonai sometime before 1640. Accounts of the events which caused the bitter split between them and the Dakota Nation were recorded in the journals of early explorers and fur traders. Legend has it that jealousy and passion over a women lay at the root of the division. A young warrior seduced and kidnapped the wife of an important man. This caused a conflict which escalated until one group, numbering about a thousand lodges, left for the north to the Lake of the Woods region where they sought out the Dakota’s traditional enemies, the Cree. They pledged that they would fight against the Dakota, in this way establishing an informal alliance. ##The word "Assiniboine" Sources differ as to how the Assiniboine received their name. Some say it was the Cree who called this new Nation Assee-nee-pay-tock. Some say the word “Assiniboine” derives from the Ojibway word assini-pwa. Either way, the translation works out to be ...

#Unlike other First Nations in Canada, the Dakota did not sign treaties with the Canadian government. Because of this they are still fighting for acknowledgment of their Aboriginal title. ##The Argument The Canadian government maintains that the Dakota are American “Indians” who came to Canada as refugees in the 1860s. From this viewpoint, the Dakota are not Canadian Aboriginal people and therefore cannot gain treaty status. The Dakota feel that the Canadian government has used this explanation as an excuse to deny them the treaty rights they deserve. [[inline:right:pow-wow]] There are nine Dakota bands in Canada today—four in Saskatchewan and five in Manitoba. The Sioux Valley Dakota Nation (west of Brandon) and Canupawakpa Dakota Nation (north of Pipestone) along with the [Métis](article=rise-metis-identity) make up the only aboriginal groups in southwest Manitoba. A group of [Dakota also lived on Turtle Mountain](article=turtle-mountain-reserve-ir60) for nearly 50 years. Their tiny reserve was shut down in 1911 through a process of questionable legality. ##Dakota War 1862 The Canadian government’s perspective towards the Dakota is based upon relatively recent history. In 1851 the Dakota signed a treaty with the American government, an arrangement that was influenced strongly by the guns of the American army and the words of the missionaries. The Dakota were forced to surrender all of their land. They were driven to uproot their villages, watching as strangers benefitted from the fruits of their land while they themselves became dependent upon the government for the yearly payment of goods that they received as part ...