19th century Efforts in agriculture were discouraged
One of the main threats to the desire and schemes of nefarious white men to steal Indian land in Minnesota during the middle 1800s was the growing reliance and increasing efforts of the Ojibwe efforts at self-sufficient agrarianism.
Many of the white fur traders were discovering that there was money to be made from treaties and land speculation. They realized that their land speculation schemes could be dashed once the Ojibwe took up agriculture en-masse. Their worry was that if the Ojibwe became successful farmers they would not be as dependent on annuities and would gain a more stringent understanding of the value of their land. If this happened, they would not part with it so easily.
The traders and speculators saw both their prosperity and their political ambitions threatened by the Ojibwe bands and their progressive efforts at economic farming. In response, most of the traders who had ties to the Minnesota Republican party pushed hard for one-sided treaties to be negotiated as soon as possible so that they could stop the Ojibwe from implementing farming efforts that could lead to economic success. They were (by and large) successful, thereby creating a climate of dependency and poverty that is still felt to this day.
Adapted From Kugel, Rebecca. 1985. “Factional Alignment Among The Minnesota Ojibwe, 1850-1880.” American Indian Culture And Research Journal 9 (4). Los Angeles: 23–47.
A collaborative effort of members of the Ojibwe and Metis communities