Explore Winona’s cultural roots

We were loggers, traders, farmers, immigrants and pioneering spirits whose livelihood revolved around its greatest asset, the river that still connects the Midwest to markets worldwide. Now, we’re artists, artisans and music lovers who embrace local traditions while connecting to broader cultural experiences.

Culture and heritage

Native American history
The ancient lands of the Dakota Nation, the region is rich with the history and culture of their proud heritage. Led by a succession of Chiefs Wapasha, the Dakota Indians who called Winona home prized this location for its expansive vistas, abundant wildlife, and ready river access.