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Shakopee (Dakota leaders)

  (Redirected from Chief Shakopee)

Shakopee or Chief Shakopee may refer to any of the three Mdewakanton Dakota leaders, in what is now the United States, who lived in the area of Minnesota from the late 18th century through 1865. The name comes from the Dakota Shák'pí meaning "Six," as the wife of the first Shakopee gave birth to sextuplet boys.


Shakopee IEdit

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

Shakopee IIEdit

Jack-O-Pa (Shák'pí/"Six"), an Ojibwa/Dakota chief, from Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's History of the Indian Tribes of North America, illustrated by Seth Eastman.

Shakopee II, or the Eaglehead (1794–1857). Shakopee was the biological twin son of the Ojibwa leader Ozaawindib "Yellow Head". His father gave him to the Dakota in order to forge an alliance with the band, and to provide them with a hereditary chief. As an adult, Shakopee identified equally as being both Ojibwa and Dakota. He had been adopted by Shakopee I as his son. Increasingly after signing the 1825 First Treaty of Prairie du Chien (both as "Sha-co-pe" (the Sixth) and as "The Sees"), Shakopee II was forced to identify exclusively as Dakota, because he was representing them in negotiations and treaties with the United States. 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 (listed as "Sha-go-bai"), and the 1842 Treaty of La Pointe (as "Sha go bi") of the Ojibwa.

Shakopee also was a signatory to the Treaty of Mendota of August 5, 1851, (as "Sha-k'pay"); he and other Dakota chiefs were pressured into selling 24 million acres (97,000 km2) for pennies an acre. Annuities of food and money were to be distributed from the federal government to the Indians as part of the treaty, but several years later after the outbreak of the American Civil War, United States broke their treaty obligations.

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. His descendants who identified as Ojibwa rather than Dakota are known by the surname of "Shaugobay," also spelled "Shagobince".

Shakopee IIIEdit

Shakopee III (1811–1865) was first named as Eatoka. He was named Shakpedan in Dakota or Zhaagobens in Ojibwe, both meaning "Little Shakopee," or Little Six at the death of his father.[1] Shakopee was the son of Shakopee II and his Dakota wife. He was born in the Dakota village of Shakopee. He became a chief following the death of his father.

During the Dakota War of 1862, Shakopee III was a war leader of the Yankton Dakota in Minnesota. He escaped to Canada after the conflict. With fellow leader Medicine Bottle, he was betrayed, drugged, kidnapped, and turned over to U.S. forces. Shakopee and Medicine Bottle were executed at Fort Snelling on November 11, 1865 for their participation in the Dakota War.[2] While he was held prisoner at Fort Snelling, Shakopee III was photographed in 1864.[3]

He is the namesake of the Little Six Casino operated by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Shakopee, Minnesota.


  1. ^ Warren Upham (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 510. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  2. ^ Winks, Robin W. (1960). The Civil War Years: Canada and the United States, Baltimore : Johns Hopkins Press, 1960, pg. 174
  3. ^ "Photograph of Shakopee III", Collections, Minnesota Historical Society

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