Legend of Minnesota Book Cover

The Legend of Minnesota

Sleeping Bear Press  |  2006  |  40 pages

Northeastern Minnesota Honor Award


The definition of the word "Minnesota" is known to most as the Dakotah word for "sky-tinted waters." However, in her research about the origin of the state's name, acclaimed author and native Minnesotan Kathy-jo Wargin uncovered a little-known, but age-old, Ojibwe tale. The Legend of Minnesota tells the story of an enduring friendship between an Ojibwe girl and a Dakotah boy, and how their kindness toward one another gives the beautiful land of Minnesota its name.

Awards & Honors

Winner, 2006 Northeastern Minnesota Book Honor Award


Long ago in the land of lakes, where pine-wrapped bays made half-moon shapes among ancient rocky vales, was one lake known to all. As dark and deep as the moonless night, it became a sea of yellow and orange with every setting sun, and was so named for its colors, “vermilion.”

Beyond this lake was a mountain, grim and gray and sacred, where the riches of time not yet discovered, the ore of iron, lay quietly stowed and waiting.
— The Legend of Minnesota


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