The Year of the Dakota: Remembering, Honoring, and Truth-Telling
On December 26, 1862 the mass execution of 38 Dakota, the largest in the history of the United States, occurred in Mankato, Minnesota. It was part of the genocide of the Dakota people in Minnesota and the United States.
This morning, December 14, 2012, City Council unanimously passed a resolution, signed by the Mayor, that will help us move one small step closer to addressing the grave injustices done to the Dakota people in Minneapolis and Minnesota over the years. It calls for a year of remembering, honoring and truth-telling to help us understand and rectify the wrongs that were perpetrated during, and since, 1862 on the Dakota People and designates“The Year of the Dakota: Remembering, Honoring, and Truth-Telling,” from December 26, 2012 to December 26, 2013.
Here is the text.
CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS
By Lilligren, Gordon, Reich, Hofstede, Johnson, Samuels, Goodman, Glidden, Schiff, Tuthill, Quincy, Colvin Roy, and Hodges.
Recognizing the 150th Anniversary of the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 and Declaring 2012-2013 the Year of the Dakota in Minneapolis.
Whereas, the year 2012 is the sesquicentennial of the beginning of the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 that led to the mass execution of 38 Dakota, the largest in the history of the United States, and the genocide of the Dakota people; and
Whereas, much has yet to be learned about issues revolving around land, reparations and restitution, treaties, genocide, suppression of American Indian spirituality and ceremonies, suppression of Indigenous languages, bounties, concentration camps, forced marches, mass executions, and forcible removals; and
Whereas, Indigenous women, children and elderly were held in a concentration camp at the base of Fort Snelling, separated from the men, before being exiled to reservations in neighboring states and Canada, and later being stripped of their culture and traditions in boarding schools and subjected to white culture and religions; and
Whereas, the complete history of Minnesota must be taught from the perspective of all people that have lived it;
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the City Council of The City of Minneapolis:
That every effort must be made to ensure that the Dakota perspective is presented during the year 2012-2013, through discussions at forums, events, symposia, conferences and workshops, to include the complex issues listed above;
Be It Further Resolved that the City of Minneapolis works to promote the well-being and growth of the American Indian community, including Dakota People.
Be It Further Resolved that these efforts during the years 2012 and 2013 will mark the beginning of future dialogues and efforts to rectify the wrongs that were perpetrated during, and since, the year 1862, a tragic and traumatic event for the Dakota People of Minnesota.
Be It Further Resolved that the year 2012-2013 is hereby designated “The Year of the Dakota: Remembering, Honoring, and Truth-Telling,” from December 26, 2012 to December 26, 2013.
My sincere thanks to Chris Mato Nunpa, Ph.D. (Former Associate Professor Indigenous Nations & Dakota Studies) for helping and inspiring us to get this done. He is also Chairperson of the Seven Fires Summit.
You can also find some information about the history of 1862 in the local paper here and here.
I look forward to a year of remembering, honoring and truth-telling. I welcome you to join me and share you ideas about how we can best use it.