The World of Work: History of Work in Minnesota


Over a period of many hundreds of years, the very earliest inhabitants of this land devised tools that improved their ability to survive the receding “Ice Age”. Early immigrants from Europe, in the name of exploration and the fur trade, expanded the range of tools, capabilities and expectations for Native Americans. Whatever they may have gained by them was eventually overshadowed by the impact of the westward migration of new residents, who were strong competitors for both land and available resources. Native Americans gained very little from their introduction to modern technology, and lost a lot in the process.

Impact of Technology

Sioux Indian Village

Sioux Indian Village, Standing Rock – ca. 1890

Photo by Ingersoll,
Minnesota Historical Society

Oahe Laundry

Ruth Elkhead and Raymond Brown Thunder,
Oahe Laundry, South Dakota, ca. 1890

Minnesota Historical Society


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