( ) is a city southwest of downtown Minneapolis in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Scott County. Located on the south bank bend of the Minnesota River, Shakopee and nearby suburbs comprise the southwest portion of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the sixteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 33,460 in 2007.
Ancient and modern, the city was once the village of Chief Shakopee of the Mdewakanton Dakota and native burial mounds along the river bank are estimated to be over 2,000 years old. Later the city boomed during the 19th century as a commerce exchange site between river and rail at Murphy's Landing. Today it is home to two of the metro area's largest attractions, Valleyfair! amusement park and the Canterbury Park horse racetrack. The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is associated with Shakopee though is located in nearby Louisville Township. A bedroom community, the city is connected to the metro area by U.S. Route 169 and County Highway 101.
Burial mounds along the Minnesota River bluff located in present Veterans Memorial Park date between 500 to 2,000 years. Following the Dakota migration from Mille Lacs Lake in the 1600s, several bands of Mdewakanton Dakota settled along the Minnesota River and continued the mound building tradition. One of these bands was led by Chief Shakopee. The Ojibwa nation began pushing into Dakota territory and reportedly Shakopee's band skirmished in 1768 and 1775. Shakopee died in 1827 at Fort Snelling. The second man to take the name Chief Shakopee was his adopted Ojibwa son Eaglehead (b. 1794-1857). The original Shakopee acquired his name when his wife, White Buffalo Woman, gave birth to sextuplet boys. Shakopee means "the six." Explorer Joseph Nicollet recorded that Eaglehead had been elected to lead the band and assume his father's name in 1838. By this time, Nicollet referred to the "Village of the Six," a permanent village south of the river, acting as a boundary to the Ojibwa, and was east of the present downtown. He noted the village and locality was commonly called the "village of the prairie" (published as
). The Shakopee band lived in summer bark lodges and winter tipis, following the changes of the season with cornfields planted.
The Dakota nation ceded land in 1851 and many relocated to Chief Shakopee's village which had moved south to where the current Shakopee-Mdewakanton Indian Reservation is in nearby Prior Lake. The band swelled to 400 people and leadership passed to Shakopee II's son Eatoka (b. 1811-1865) who became Shakpedan (Little Shakopee/Little Six) at the death of his father. After the Dakota War of 1862, Shakpedan was hung at Fort Snelling in 1865 for participating in the massacres.
Meanwhile in 1851, Thomas A. Holmes established a trading post west of the Dakota and platted Shakopee Village in 1854 after Chief Shakopee II. The city quickly grew, incorporating in 1857 but surrendered their charter in 1861. As tensions lifted from the Dakota War, the city incorporated again in 1870 but the western end was left in township status and renamed Jackson Township, Minnesota in 1871, likely after President Andrew Jackson.