Good Thunder (Wakinyanwaste) was an established leader of the Mdewakanton Dakota when Henry Whipple arrived in Minnesota. In what was surely both a leap of faith and an act of diplomacy, he became Whipple’s first Dakota adult male convert in 1861, when he was baptized as Andrew Good Thunder.
Whipple and Good Thunder became lifelong friends and political allies. Though many Dakota people were deported from Minnesota after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, Good Thunder and his family remained, due both to the aid they offered white settlers during the war and to Whipple’s lobbying on their behalf. The family later moved to Nebraska for several years to receive allotments from the U.S. government. When he returned to Minnesota, Good Thunder settled near Morton, Minnesota, where he donated land and funds for the construction of St. Cornelia’s Church, named for Henry Whipple’s first wife.