The Sioux called the lake mni wakachante, which separately translate as mni (water),waka(spirit),and chante (bad). Early European-American settlers thought this meant "Bad Spirit Lake", or "Devils Lake." The "bad" referred to the high salinity of the lake, making it unfit to drink, and "spirit" meant the mirages often seen across the water. The Christian concept of the devil was not present in the Sioux religion. The present site of Devils Lake was historically territory of the Sioux or Dakota. The Sioux were relocated to the Spirit Lake Reservation. The name "Devils Lake" is a calque of the Sioux phrase mni waká (literally: spiritual water), which is also reflected in the names of the Spirit Lake Tribe and the nearby town of Minnewaukan.