If we focus on the Settler/U.S. Government point of view we look at the conflict from the perspective that the Dakota declared war on the U.S. and the settlers and killed many innocent people. Some will go as far as saying that these people were murdered and therefore the U.S. Government was justified in their actions of hanging the 38 Dakota in Mankato.
If we focus on the Dakota point of view we look at the conflict from the perspective that the Settlers and U.S. Government were taking advantage of the Dakota to the point of treating them inhumanely by not distributing food and necessities when it was clear that many Dakota people were starving to death. It only seems natural that the Dakota would lash out against the government and its representatives in a manner that seemed to some justifiable considering the circumstances, and the 38 Dakota were the people who were actually murdered.
But, I think a third perspective is missing and is necessary to answer my question about how did the conflict change Minnesota and I will attempt to explain it by asking and answering questions using my wife's family history as a backdrop.
My wife's grandmother and great-grandfather lived near Mendota, MN, where Henry Sibley's main residence and business ventures were located. Where would they have lived had the conflict not occurred? If the conflict had not occurred, my wife's family would have most likely lived in other parts of Minnesota or where ever the Dakota moved to, had they continued to cede land to the U.S. Government. But, that isn't what happened.
My wife's ancestors were considered mixed blood Sioux. And, from what I can determine based on the information I found, they were kind of the forgotten people and also victims of the conflict. As mixed bloods, it seems they were not considered to be members of the Dakota at the time. They were the product of what historians classify as a business relationship. Many of the fur traders from France and Canada 'married' the daughters of tribal elders and chiefs to establish relationships with the tribe to build trust and friendship so the trader would be allowed to do business with the tribe. In essence, so both would prosper. But, it created a group of people that were not really members of the tribe, nor were they members of what would become western civilization. The Dakota didn't recognize them as Indian, and the U.S. Government and settlers didn't recognize them as white. They were frontiersmen and pioneers who made way for the waves of settlers who would come west in hopes of finding land to settle down on and make out a life of farming and cultivating new communities.
Before the conflict, it appears my wife's family worked for the fur trading companies and may have contracted with the U.S. Government too. After the conflict, their services were no longer needed. After the conflict they did not have a tribe to belong to or a city to move back to. The frontier was becoming settled and the Dakota were being relocated to South Dakota and Nebraska, which reduced and eliminated their opportunities to trade and do business. And, since Francois and Joseph Robinette were killed at the Lower Sioux Agency, the opportunity and need for work disappeared. As a result, it appears that my wife's family moved to Mendota and [continued] to work for Henry Sibley.
For my wife's family, the migratory lifestyle ended. There was no longer a need to travel with the Dakota, because the Dakota were removed from Minnesota and placed on reservations in South Dakota and Nebraska. My wife's family moved to Mendota and 'settled' in one location as they then worked for Henry Sibley, who continued to be influential in the growth of Minnesota.
The Dakota Conflict of 1862 changed Minnesota by creating a situation where the U.S. Government could more quickly take control of the land by using 'justifiable' force instead of the slow process of negotiating and persuading the Dakota to allow whites to move into the territory, create villages and cities, and change the landscape for reasons that conflicted with traditional Dakota life. In my opinion, the Dakota Conflict of 1862 allowed Minnesota to be settled more quickly, and had it not happened who knows how different it may look today.