Native American Television



Scott County Historical Society donates Dakota rifle to 

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

November 16, 2020

Prior Lake, Minn. – The Scott County Historical Society and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) announced today that the society has donated a rifle to the tribe that was once owned by Mdewakanton Dakota leader Sakpe II. Originally on loan from the organization, this historic artifact is now part of the permanent collection and on public exhibit at Hoċokata Ti (ho-cho-kah-tah-tee), the tribe’s cultural center.


The unique four-barrel revolving rifle belonged to Chief Sakpe II, a Mdewakanton Dakota leader who lived in the region near Shakopee in the early 19th century. His name, Sakpe (pronounced Shock-pay), means “Six” in the Dakota language, as the first Sakpe leader had sextuplet boys. During his life, Sakpe II was a notable leader among the Dakota people and signed several treaties with the United States government. He is the namesake of the city of Shakopee.


“It is important that tribes have the opportunity to own their own significant artifacts, to tell their story and preserve their history,” said SMSC Chairman Keith Anderson. “For so long, our history has been told through the eyes of others. Now, we have the ability to share our history with the community through the exhibit at Hoċokata Ti. We look forward to continuing to work with the Scott County Historical Society to honor our region’s history and culture.” 


The rifle was in the care of the estate of Lawrence Taliaferro, a United States army officer and Indian agent, until Osborne Klavestad purchased it in 1922. From there, it was on display at the Stagecoach Museum in Shakopee until it was donated to the Scott County Court House in the summer of 1980. Renovations to the Scott County Court building in 1999 caused the rifle to be relocated to the Scott County Historical Society.


“The Scott County Historical Society is honored to be able to return Chief Sakpe’s rifle to the Mdewakanton Dakota people, and we are grateful for the chance to be a part of this chapter in the story of this artifact.” said Heather Hoagland, SCHS Executive Director. 


The rifle is currently on display at the public exhibit in Hoċokata Ti, the tribe’s cultural center and gathering space. Mdewakanton: Dwellers of the Spirit Lake provides visitors with a cultural experience that enhances their knowledge and understanding of the Mdewakanton Dakota people and their history. Hoċokata Ti recently celebrated its first anniversary and was recently selected as a Top 10 Museum/Cultural Center by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums. It also received an award of distinction from the American Association for State and Local History in 2020.


Download a photo of the rifle here. 


About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Dakota tribal government located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Following a Dakota tradition of generosity, the SMSC is one of the top philanthropists in Minnesota and is the largest contributor to other tribal governments and causes across the country. It is a strong community partner and a leader in protecting and restoring natural resources. The SMSC’s government, Gaming Enterprise and various other enterprises are collectively the largest employer in Scott County and attract millions of visitors to the region.

About the Scott County Historical Society
Scott County Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit museum, historic house, and research library with a mission to “search, save, and share Scott County history. Located in downtown Shakopee since its founding in 1969, SCHS serves the entire Scott County community by preserving information and making it available through professional collection practices, engaging exhibits and educational outreach programs for people of all ages.