Dakota Conflict 150th Commemoration

Stories and events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Dakota Indian conflict in Minnesota.

Recent Posts

Ernest Wabasha: The Burden of Minnesota’s History

Wabasha, Ernest

I was 30 years old, a journalist with a passing knowledge of Indian history. Yet it had never occurred to me, until I came across the name of Ernest Wabasha one day, that people still lived among us who were connected to the terrible events of 1862-63, the time of the so-called “Sioux Uprising” and the exile and banishment of the Dakota Sioux from their homeland. But there it was: The great-great grandson of Chief Wabasha was living on a reservation near Redwood Falls! I looked up Mr. Wabasha’s telephone number and called to ask if I — a complete stranger — might visit some day. “What are you doing this afternoon,” he asked. Continue Reading →

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Dakota Spoken Here: Mni Sota’s Dakota Indian Heritage

Up for A Minnesota Book Award Saturday: Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota

Editor’s note: “Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota,” was the winner in the Minnesota category of the 2013 Minnesota Book Awards, which were announced Saturday. Congratulations to authors Gwen Westerman and Bruce White. — updated Sunday, April 14 at 8:07 a.m.

One hundred and fifty years after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, the story of the Dakota Indian people is still connected to a troubled history of broken treaties and brutal repression that followed the war. But there is another deeper and older history: That of the Dakota people and their connection to the land of “Mni Sota Makoce,” the place where the water reflects the clouds in the sky. Minnesota is a Dakota place. Continue Reading →

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150 Years After America’s Largest Mass Execution: Minnesota and its Dakota Indians Still Search for Healing

Riders from the Dakota 38 Plus 2 Reconciliation Ride arrive in downtown Mankato on December 26, 2012, for a ceremony at Reconciliation Park to commemorate the execution of thirty-eight Dakota warriors on the day after Christmas in 1862. The ride left Lower Brule, South Dakota on December 10, and made fourteen stops along the 340 mile ride to Mankato.

A two-week journey from South Dakota ends in Mankato, Minnesota to mark the 150th anniversary of the largest execution in the United States where 38 Dakota (Sioux) Indian men were hanged for their involvement in the Dakota-US War of 1862. Continue Reading →

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“We Are Here:” Native American Artists Explore Pain of the Dakota War of 1862

Click on Jim Denomie's Painting to hear more about the exhibit

According to tradition, “We Are Here” is what each of the 38 Dakota Indian warriors who were hanged on the day after Christmas in 1862 said as the nooses were placed around their necks. “We Are Here” is also the title of an exhibit on view at the historic James J. Hill House in St. Paul, Minnesota. Native American artists comment on the events and aftermath of the U.S-Dakota War in the form of contemporary painting, sculpture and traditional works. Continue Reading →

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Healing Minnesota’s Deepest Wound: Pardoning a Dakota Warrior

Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

After the US-Dakota War of 1862, 38 Dakota men were hanged in the largest mass execution in US history. Many believe the execution was also one of the largest miscarriages of justice in the nation’s history. Today, Representative Dean Urdahl hopes to “rub a little salve in the wound” by seeking a pardon for one of the executed warriors. His name was Chaska. Continue Reading →

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MN “Concentration Camp” Survivors’ Relatives Remember 150 Years Later

Relatives of Dakota who survived MN 1862 Concentration Camp at Fort Snelling remember and honor

150 years after the Dakota War, the war remains a wound that has yet to heal. We watch a special ceremony remembering the many Dakota women and children who did not survive the winter of 1862-63 at the Fort Snelling “concentration camp”. Continue Reading →

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