MMDC A TRIBAL 501C3 ORGANIZATION
“Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the Dakota Culture for Future Generations”

Welcome to the online home of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community.

We are a nonprofit 501C3 organization dedicated to protecting important and sacred sites and bringing Dakota Oyate (nation) culture back to its birthplace in Minnesota.

Donations Go To…

  • Protect and preserve sites sacred to the Dakota Nation around the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, located in the Twin Cities area.
  • Revitalize Dakota culture and the use of the Dakota language in its place of origin.
  • Promote better understanding between non-natives and the Dakota People by providing accurate information about Dakota history in Minnesota.
  • Offering opportunities for all to learn about Dakota culture.
  • Establish a home base for the descendants of the Dakota people who lived in the Mendota area and were never granted the U.S. tribal status promised to them.

Many generations ago, our elders prophesied that a time would come when their descendants would return to the birthplace of the Dakota Nation to protect its sacred sites and bring Dakota culture back to its place of origin. This place is the Mendota area, the joining together place, of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers in the heart of the Twin Cities. We are the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community, and we are here today fulfilling that prophesy as best we can in the place where our direct ancestors lived.

We have run out of funds to maintain our tribal community center in the town of Mendota, MN beyond May, 2011. We are asking you to help us out in our immediate need by donating whatever amount of money you can afford to help keep us intact so we can do the work we are dedicated to.

We would like you to better understand our situation. Please take a moment to read this open letter to all peoples of good heart . We were recently forced to move but we are still a community and we will keep going on, as always, we are Dakota!!!

Over the past 16 years we have spent many thousands of volunteer hours fighting for the preservation of sites sacred to the Dakota People and brought back Dakota ceremonies, language, and culture to the birthplace of the Dakota Nation. We have gone to schools and cultural organizations throughout the Twin Cities area to educate our neighbors about the true story of the Dakota People in Minnesota and promote acceptance and healing between our people and the general American public.

We have brought together once again the scattered descendants of the Mdewakanton band of Dakota people who had once lived in the Mendota area.

We bridge the gap between Indian and non-Indian communities. Our commitment to sustaining Dakota language and culture is our organizations driving force. Our programs and events are open to the public. We encourage all people to learn and participate. We work collaboratively with tribal, city, county and state governments, Native and non-Native non-profits, and grass root organizations on issues and initiatives that pertain to and affect Dakota and other Native peoples.

  • Preserving the Culture: Consistent with our mission, several programs and activities focus on the preservation of Dakota culture. These include:
  • Conducting weekly Dakota language classes free of charge and open to the public.
  • Conducting monthly traditional craft classes free of charge and open to the public.
  • Hosting the annual MMDC Welcome Home Traditional Pow-Wow.
  • Hosting annual World Peace and Prayer Day and Winter Solstice ceremonies at Camp Coldwater
  • Participating in an annual traditional Sugar Bush Camp
  • Initiating and hosting the annual remembrance ceremony to honor the Dakota ancestors who were interred in the Fort Snelling concentration camp after the 1862 Dakota Conflict
  • Hosting Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) meetings. Protecting the Culture: We believe that a critical component of ensuring that the Dakota culture will exist for future generations is protecting the culture today. These protective activities are crucial our mission. Current activities include:
  • Exercising Treaty rights, such as pass and re-pass rights at Camp Coldwater and fishing rights under the 1805 Treaty
  • Partnering with the Pilot Knob Preservation Association to protect an historical site from being developed into a commercial office-building complex. Promoting the Culture: We believe that promoting the Dakota culture is important on many levels. First and foremost, promoting the culture ensures that accurate historical and contemporary information about the Dakota is present in relevant dialogues and is available to Dakota and non-Dakota alike. Promotion initiatives also provide the foundation for improved relationships with our non-Dakota relatives. Towards these ends, activities to promote the Dakota culture include:
  • Educational Outreach to local schools to share the Dakota culture, crafts, regalia, and artifacts
  • Maintaining a website for the MMDC providing historical and cultural information to visitors we work collaboratively with tribal, city, county and state governments, Native and non-Native non-profits, and grass root organizations on issues and initiatives that pertain to and affect Dakota and other Native peoples. Examples of these collaborations include:
  • Working with the Preserve Camp Coldwater Coalition to protect a site that is sacred to Dakota people and of cultural significance to the people of Minnesota
  • Partnering with the Pilot Knob Preservation Association to protect an historical site from being developed into a commercial office-building complex.
  • Collaborating with the University of Minnesota on several native-related projects
  • Teaming up with the City of Mendota and the Mendota VFW in organizing the Mendota Days community celebration
  • Working with Ospaye (a.k.a. Friends of the Friendly), a group of people ineligible to be MMDC members who are dedicated to supporting MMDC and its efforts

We believe we are here to play an important spiritual and cultural role for all people who live here in the land of our ancestors. Please help us to continue on. Pidamaya! (Thank you)

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