Minnesota Sesquicentennial of Hate: The Hanging of the 38 on Dec. 26, 1862

Dec 26

Minnesota Sesquicentennial of Hate: The Hanging of the 38 on Dec. 26, 1862

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the most terrible event in Minnesota’s history: The mass execution in Mankato of 38 Dakota Indians that followed the war between the Dakota Sioux tribes and the new state government. Revenge and rage drove the flawed legal proceedings behind the kangaroo-court convictions of 303 Indians who surrendered after the U.S.-...

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Survival: Proud Descendants of The Exiled

Nov 14

Survival: Proud Descendants of The Exiled

A pair of bald eagles floated high above the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers Tuesday as a line of Dakota Indians, following in the footsteps of their exiled ancestors, rounded a highway curve in Mendota and marched towards Fort Snelling. And towards a spiritual healing of Minnesota’s most painful chapters — the executions, imprisonments...

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She Who Bumps into Things, or The Lily of the Mohawks: First Native American Saint

Oct 19

She Who Bumps into Things, or The Lily of the Mohawks: First Native American Saint

On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI canonized seven new Roman Catholic saints, among them the very first American Indian to be raised to sainthood, an Algonquin-Mohawk woman called Kateri Tekakwitha, who has been venerated by Catholics for more than 100 years as “The Lily of the Mohawks.” I’m not sure if the story of Tekakwitha, who died, at 24, in 1680,...

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History Mystery: HERE WERE HANGED 38 SIOUX INDIANS

Apr 10

History Mystery: HERE WERE HANGED                                     38 SIOUX INDIANS

A  mystery popped up last week, one that serves as a metaphor for the difficulty Minnesota faces — in this 150th anniversary year — in acknowledging the Dakota War of 1862 and its aftermath of racism, retribution and white triumphalism. A large monument that noted the spot along the Minnesota River where 38 Dakota warriors were hanged on the day after...

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