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Chief Shakopee

Chief Shakopee may refer to any of the three Mdewakanton Dakota chiefs who lived in the early 19th century. The name comes from the Dakota Shák'pí meaning "Six".

Shakopee I

Chief Shakopee (c.1750-1827). Chief Shakopee was given this name when his wife, White Buffalo Woman, gave birth to sextuplet boys. Shakopee Lake near Mille Lacs Lake was named after him. Chief Shakopee met Major Stephen Harriman Long at the mouth of the Minnesota River in 1817, when Long came up to distribute the presents which Lieutenant Zebulon Pike had contracted to send them 12 years earlier with the Pike's Purchase, and Long found Shakopee very offensive. Shakopee was executed at Fort Snelling in June 1827 by running a gauntlet by some Ojibwa as part of his punishment for murdering some Ojibwa before.

Shakopee II

Chief Shakopee or the Eaglehead (1794–1857). Shakopee was the adopted son of Chief Shakopee I, and the biological twin son of the Ojibwa Chief Ozaawindib "Yellow Head". He identified himself equally as being Ojibwa as being Dakota, but increasingly after signing the 1825 Treaty of Prairie du Chien (both as "Sha-co-pe" (the Sixth) and as "The Sees"), he was forced to identify himself exclusively as Dakota. Despite the pressures, he was also signatory to the 1826 Treaty of Fond du Lac (as "Chau-co-pee" and as "Jack-o-pa" by Bird), 1837 Treaty of St. Peters (as "Sha-go-bai"), and the 1842 Treaty of La Pointe (as "Sha go bi") of the Ojibwas. Shakopee also was a signatory to the Treaty of Mendota of August 5, 1851, (as "Sha-k'pay") in which Chief Shakopee and the other Dakota chiefs were pressured into selling 24 million acres (97,000 km2) for pennies an acre. Food and money from the federal government was to be distributed to the Indians as part of the treaty, but several years later with the American Civil War, United States broke their treaty obligations. The city of Shakopee, Minnesota and the nearby Shakopee Lake were named after him. Shakopee served as a guide to Joseph Nicollet in part of the exploration of the upper Mississippi, and providing details on its tributaries, such as Rice Creek near Fridley, Minnesota. In Ojibwe, he was called Zhaagobe, and his descendants who identified themselves as Ojibwa rather than Dakota are surnamed either "Shaugobay" or "Shagobince".

Shakopee III

Chief Shakopee, also known as Eatoka, or Shakpedan in Dakota or Zhaagobens in Ojibwe, both meaning "Little Shakopee" (1811–1865). Shakopee was the son of Chief Shakopee II. He was born in the village of a photograph of Chief Shakopee was taken in 1864.

He is the namesake of the Little Six Casino in Shakopee, Minnesota.


Lawrence Taliaferro's papers indicate that an Ojibwe of this name guided the 1834 crew that surveyed part of the Prairie du Chien line. He indicated that his band ranged from the St. Croix throughout the area roughly north of the line, past the Mississippi. In the 1850s, the Minn. Territory militia unit commanded by James Starkey attacked an Ojibwe party in the Chisago area and resulted in the death of a white man, after which a man of this name was held at Ft. Snelling. Carl Zapffe's book on the 1837 treaty indicates that this man used a pictograph that indicated sextuplets, although I believe this was the author's own interpretation; the pictograph indicates six heads above the figure of a woman. A Jack-o-pa/Chagobay/Six is consistently associated with the St. Croix Ojibwe in treaties and Indian Agency materials. There is a Dakota of the "Six" name who figures consistently in missionary and Indian Agency materials in association with the Minnesota River in this same period. Linda Bryan, Maplewood, Minnesota.

External links

  • Eden Prairie History — Three Chiefs Shakopee
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