More than 150 years ago, a civil war was waging in our country. The Native American Tribes and The United States Government were involved in what is known as The Old Crossing Treaty. This monumental moment in time will stand out in the history of Minnesota forever.
The Red River Valley is a fertile land that became known as the “bread and butter basket” of the nation. The Old Crossing was an area used by ox cart trains and settlers to ford the Red Lake River and claim land. At times wagons would camp there waiting for a safe time to cross. It was near this location that the Red Lake and Pembina bands of the Chippewa Indians met with Commissioner Alexander Ramsey and A.C. Morril to work on a treaty for the Native’s land.
Negotiations lasted for a couple of weeks until an agreement was finally reached on October 2, 1863. For $510,000 the land was ceded to the United States. This was a sizable amount of land. It stretched 180 miles long, north to south, and approximately 127 miles wide, east to west, covering approximately 11,000,000 acres. In the treaty, it read “The peace and friendship now existing between the United States and Red Lake and Pembina bands of the Chippewa Indians shall be perpetual.“
150 years later the Red Lake Tribal Council voted unanimously to establish a Red Lake Nation tribal holiday, “The Crossing Treaty Day”. This celebration is to recognize the contribution their tribe made to the United States and also to raise awareness of the history of the Red Lake Nation. A statue now stands in Huot Minnesota which was originally dubbed the Old Crossing.
Before You Go, Here’s A Tip:
You will find the location of the Old Crossing Treaty Memorial in Red Lake Falls at Wayside Park.