As painted in 1824 by Charles Bird King
|Sisseton Dakota leader|
Near Swan Lake, Nicollet County, Minnesota
Roberts County, South Dakota
|Resting place||Sleepy Eye, Minnesota|
|Relations||Nephew, Sleepy Eye|
|Children||One son, seven daughters|
|Nickname(s)||Chief Sleepy Eye, Drooping Eyelids|
Ishtakhaba (Dakota: Ištáȟba), a.k.a. Chief Sleepy Eye, was a Native American chief of the Sisseton Dakota tribe. He became chief sometime between 1822 and 1825, receiving a commission from the Bureau of Indian Affairs as chief in 1824, and remained chief until his death in 1860. His band, known as the Swan Lake or Little Rock Band, hunted "in southwestern Minnesota and southeastern Dakota ... between Swan Lake and Coteau des Prairies," until forced to move to reservation land near the Minnesota River in the wake of the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre.
Ishtabkhaba tried to promote peace with whites in and around the state of Minnesota. He was a signer of at least four treaties with the United States government, including the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, and met with President James Monroe in Washington, D.C. in 1824. Chief Sleepy Eyes was known for his friendships with "explorers, traders, missionaries and government officials". However, his nephew, who also bore the name "Sleepy Eyes," was involved in the 1862 Sioux Uprising.
According to Warren Upham, "'Sleepy Eyes died in Roberts County, South Dakota, but many years after his death his remains were disinterred and relocated to Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, where they were buried under a monument erected by the citizens.'" The monument, close to the railway station, bears this inscription beneath the portrait of the chief in bas-relief sculpture: 'Ish-tak-ha-ba, Sleepy Eye, Always a Friend of the Whites. Died 1860.'"
In 1852, Sleepy Eye helped select the site which became today's Mankato, Minnesota. He advised traders not to build in low lying land near the Minnesota River, because it flooded, and suggested "the bluff" of Mankato's "present day Front Street" for a trading post instead.
- "Historic Marker: Chief Sleepy Eyes in Sleepy Eye, MN". Travels with Children by minnemom. 2009-11-01. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "Ish Tak Ha Be (Sleepy Eye)". Minnesota State University Mankato. 2010-05-31. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- Hodge, Handbook of American Indians, Part II, 1910
- Upham, Warren (2001). Minnesota Place Names, A Geographical Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition. Saint Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society. p. 75. ISBN 0-87351-396-7.
- "Chief Sleepy Eye’s possession returns home". The Free Press,. Mankato, MN. 2011-09-04. Retrieved 2013-03-06.