Wow, yesterday, Larry and I became fascinated by a photo (unusual, I know ☺) he found in a book written by the staff at MCHS.
(That link is the whole book, ok?)
According to the caption below the pic, these were Ojibwe men in downtown Little Falls...with a gaggle of white settlers behind them. My first thought was "Oh, oh", but it turns out the real story was way cooler. Read on...Some bonus history here: In 1862 in Minnesota, the situation between Native people and the US Government was awful. "Throughout the late 1850s, treaty violations by the United States and late or unfair annuity payments by Indian agents caused increasing hunger and hardship among the Dakota". The conflict is known now as the Dakota War of 1862.
In Little Falls, tho, the local Chippewa (Ojibwe) warned the settlers about what was happening in Mankato and southern Minnesota. No one knew if the fighting would spread as far as Morrison Co, but the settlers were grateful for the warning.
Because of this, the relationship between the settlers and the Ojibwe stayed pretty cordial, and by 1880, when the American government sold reservation land to pine grabbers, the Mille Lacs Band came to Little Falls to ask the businessmen to intercede for them in Washington.
THAT's what this photo is of--see the name above the door of the business behind the people? It says "Simmons", a name that shows up HERE, among others. Larry found that they also met at the Louis Vasaly home in Little Falls, and that the gentleman on the left was one of the Ojibwe pictured above.
The businessmen took the cause to the government and had some limited success, we know. Problems still existed in 1913-16 (reported in the Pierz Journal here) with white citizens' prejudice and was still virulent in Sr Laura's era and our own. Sigh.
Thank goodness for Casinos!