Black Duck (Mug-a-dishib) was a brave warrior and sub-chief of the Pembina (Turtle Mountain) Chippewa. He was considered a great warrior and the defender of the frontier. He made his village near Stump Lake, ND and also camped and hunted near Fargo, ND.
Around 1807 Black Duck raised a considerable war-party and proceeded south of Pembina deep into Sioux territory – somewhere near Lake Traverse or Big Stone Lake, SD. After failing to find the village they were looking for, the majority of the war party abandoned the quest and returned north to Pembina. Forty warriors stayed with Black Duck and they continued the search for the enemy Sioux. They eventually found and attacked a large village – killing many Sioux. It seemed that they would kill everyone, but a friendly Assiniboine travelling with them warned them that reinforcements were coming from a nearby Sioux village. Because they had exhausted their ammunition, Black Duck and his party reluctantly retreated. The Chippewas had not proceeded far, when, on traversing a wide prairie, clouds of dust coming from the direction of their recent massacre told them that their enemy was approaching. Rather than have the entire party killed by the overwhelming Sioux war party, it was decided that the Chippewa would separate and each group try to escape. Knowing that escape was futile, Black Duck and the remaining handful of warriors who stayed with him decided to meet death together so that the other group could escape. They seated themselves on the prairie and began smoking their pipes, quietly awaiting the enemy. Three hundred mounted Sioux warriors dashed up and surrounded them. The Chippewa engaged the Sioux and the struggle was with knives, tomahawks, and spears. It was a short and bloody battle. Only one Chippewa escaped to tell the tale.
This final battle happened at the Wild Rice River south of Fargo, ND. During the middle 1800s Father Genin, a Catholic Priest who served the Chippewa and Metis erected a cross at the site where Black Duck and twelve of his followers fell in their supreme sacrifice. This location is where the Milwaukee Railroad crosses the Wild Rice River. Black Duck is almost forgotten today, but his descendants can still be found among the Turtle Mountain Chippewa.