Birch Coulee was the site of the Battle of Birch Coulee, one of the deadliest battles of the Dakota War of 1862. It is now preserved at Birch Coulee State Memorial Park one mile north of Morton, Minnesota and has self-guided trails and markers about the battle from both sides. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
The Friendly Indian Monument recognizes the six Dakota Indians who befriended and protected government employees, immigrant settlers, missionaries, or aided soldiers during the United States – Dakota Conflict of 1862, most often at the risk of their own lives. Even though only 6 names are listed on the monument, many more aided those of white descent who are not listed there.
On a hill overlooking the beautiful Minnesota River Valley and the city of Morton, stand two 52-foot tall granite monuments. These monuments are known as the Birch Coulee and Friendly Indian Monuments. The Birch Coulee Monument was erected in 1894 for the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Birch Coulee on September 2, 1862. The Loyal Indian Monument was erected in 1899 to honor 6 Dakota who saved lives of whites during the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862.