Loss of land, culture, religion, and livelihood began in earnest for the Native people of Minnesota starting with the early 19th century. The establishment of American Army forts not as places of trade so much as places to keep Indians out started in 1819 with the founding of Fort Snelling near modern-day Minneapolis. Though missionaries were in the area long before actual congregations, the oldest established church in Minnesota was St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Mendota in 1840; it was built with the specific mission to minister to both the settlers and the Indians of the area. The first railroad began to snake its way through the territory in the mid-1850s, bringing with it a new rush of White settlers.
All of these colonial missions necessitated treaties between the US government and Native nations ceding Native land. While treaties may have started out small-scale in the early 1800s, by the 1830s the United States was claiming huge swathes of Native land by force and coercion.