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When first noticed in history, about 1650, they centered about Mille Lac and Leech Lake, toward the heads of the Mississippi, in central Minnesota, having their eastern frontier within a day's march of Lake Superior.

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While thus in custody Father Hennepin observed their customs, made some study of the language, baptized a child and attempted some religious instruction, explored a part of Minnesota, and discovered and named St. In 1683 Nicholas Perrot established a post at the mouth of the Wisconsin.

In 1689 he established Fort Perrot near the lower end of Lake Pepin, on the Minnesota side, the first post within the Sioux territory, and took formal possession of their country for France.

The boundaries of all that portion lying east of the Dakotas were defined by the great inter-tribal treaty of Prairie du Chien in 1825 and a supplemental treaty at the same place in 1830.

At this period the Minnesota region was held by the various Santee bands; Eastern Dakota and a small part of Iowa were claimed by the Yankton and their cousins the Yanktonai; while all the Sioux territory west of the Missouri was held by bands of the great Teton division, constituting three-fifths of the whole nation.

The tribal war went on, but the Sioux kept friendship with the French traders, who by this time had reached the Mississippi.

In 1680 one of their war parties, descending the Mississippi against the Illinois, captured the Recollect Father Louis Hennepin with two companions and brought them to their villages at the head of the river, where they held them, more as guests than prisoners, until released on the arrival of the trader, Du Luth, in the fall.

On reaching the buffalo plains and procuring horses, supplemented soon thereafter by firearms, they rapidly overran the country to the west and southwest, crossing the Missouri perhaps about 1750, and continuing on to the Black Hills and the Platte until checked by the Pawnee, Crow, and other tribes.

At the beginning of treaty relations in 1805 they were the acknowledged owners of most of the territory extending from central Wisconsin, across the Mississippi and Missouri, to beyond the Black Hills, and from the Canada boundary to the North Platte, including all of Southern Minnesota, with considerable portions of Wisconsin and Iowa, most of North Dakota and South Dakota, Northern Nebraska, and much of Montana and Wyoming.

This ancient name is now obsolete, having been superseded by the modern Ojibwa term Buanag , of uncertain etymology.

They call themselves Dakota, Nakota, or Lakota, according to dialect, meaning "allies".

Fathers Allouez and Marquette, from their mission of St.

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