Nellie Two Bears Gates (Dakota: Maȟpíya Boǧáŋwiŋ, ca. 1854–1935) was a Native American artist whose beadwork depicted Yanktonai Dakota history and culture. Beaded suitcases and valises that she gave as gifts are now part of art collections and exhibitions.
Nellie Two Bears Gates was born in 1854 on the traditional land of the Yanktonai IháŋktȟuŋwaŋnaDakota which lay between the Missouri and James River in what is now North and South Dakota. Her Dakota name was Mahpiya Bogawin, meaning “Gathering of Clouds Woman.” She was the eldest child of Chief Two Bears (d. 1878 or 1879) and his fourth wife, Honkakagewin.
At the age of seven, Nellie was taken from her family and placed in a Catholic boarding school at St. Joseph, Missouri where she stayed for eleven years. At school Nellie excelled academically and became fluent in English and French. In 1863 when she was nine and still at boarding school, her family’s village was attacked and destroyed at the Battle of Whitestone Hill. Her father Chief Two Bears was one of the signers of the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) and settled at Standing Rock Reservation. At 18 Nellie returned to live with her family at Standing Rock after which she exclusively spoke the Dakota language.