“Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the Dakota Culture for Future Generations”

From: Perry Altendorfer, MMDTC Historian To: All Lineal Descendants, Signers and First Original Families relating to the 1830 Prairie du Chein Treaty.  We are currently updating our files, adding articles and documentation that involves families related to this treaty. Please see attached document:

M550 Part5 Johnsons and Jones Report 1856


Please contact Perry with questions or comments.


Mendota has there monthly Inipi’s at the DuPuis House for over 5 years.

We have kept an office in Mendota for over 21 years thanks to our members, donations, and a few grants. Mostly our members we have almost closed our doors a few times.

We are now going on our 20th Wacipi on Sept 8, 9, 10 2017. At St Peters Church grounds 1405 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota Mn 55150.

DESPITE our people being here for centuries, we have never been in a
reservation situation. We have remained a Dakota Community despite the
1. The assimilation of 200 years.
2. The failure of the ratification of the Treaty of 1841, which would have
made the valley of the Minnesota River an Indian Territory much like Oklahoma
3. The failure of the purchase of lands for the Mendota People by the U.S.
Government despite the purchase of four other pieces of land that became the
present Dakota Communities in Minnesota.
We filed for recognition as a federally recognized tribe and have acquired
federal tax-exempt non-profit status as a Dakota Community. Our mission
statement is the protection and preservation of the Dakota culture and
language. It is our dream to establish heath facilities for our people,
establish a learning center for all people, re-establish our language for our
community and our descendants, and establish cultural ties.

Our petition for recognition has regrettably been slowed by struggles against
the development of our ancestral lands and the resting places of our
ancestors. As a result of Department of Justice mediation, a two-day
testimony session was established which brought forth testimony from many
elders from Indian Nations. Dakota, Ojibwe, and people from other nations
historically bound to this area came to testify. The most important part of
this testimony was largely ignored resulting in the Minnesota Department of
Transportation’s decision to eliminate the Four Sacred Grandfather Oaks along
the proposed site of the reroute of State Highway 55 in South Minneapolis.

We have renewed our efforts to gain federal recognition and the regrettable
loss of the trees has given us more time to do this. We no longer have our
spiritual encampment to support and our efforts can be aimed at the
recognition petition.


WE were extremely blessed to be come good friends with Chris Leith in 1997, until he passed away on 3-3-2011. Chris was a spiritual advisor for the Prairie Island Dakota Community.
Chris taught us much of what was missing in our knowledge of Dakota culture. Chris
taught us the sacred Dakota language for months until the grant for the class
was expended. Chris invited us to our first Sundance in 1997 at the sacred
quarries in Pipestone. Some members have attended this ceremony every since.

Chris gave Beverly Scott and Sharon Lennartson their spirit names thru the creator at the Hasting Veterans Pow Wow.

Jim Anderson has become a sun dancer for many years.

We have attended many pow wows, including the past three at the Lower Sioux
Reservation in Morton, Minnesota. We have also gone to pow wows at Prairie
Island, Shakopee and Mankato.  Several of our members started to dance Beverly Scott, Sharon Lennartson, Mike Scott, Jim Anderson, Marie Nordin, Roxann Hop, Joan Minske started to dance.

We were co-sponsors of the First Annual Veterans Pow Wow at the Minnesota
State Veterans Home in Hastings and are working on it again for the second
one. We are also involved in the Gathering of Kinship Pow Wow at Birch
Coulee, honoring the 38 Grandfathers hung at Mankato on December 26, 1862.
Jim Anderson and Michael Scott, started our first Pow Wow.

We are know on our 20th Pow Wow on Sept 8, 9,10 2017.

We were in charge of the kitchen at World Peace and Prayer Day held on June
21, 1998 at the sacred quarries at Pipestone. This was truly a moving
experience. We started with virtually nothing and thanks to members of many
tribes, we had all the equipment and food we could use. Every time we were
in need of something such as fruit juice for the children, someone would
bring in cases. The caring and sharing at the gathering was an incredible
religious experience. At the end of the weekend, we sent extra food home
with many elders. Aho Wasteste!!

Chief Arvol Looking Horse (Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe) and
his family led a unity ride along with some of our people from Birch Coulee
to our encampment at the Four Sacred Grandfather Oaks. Ceremonies were also held on Pilot Knob (Oheyawahe- Much Visited Hill) our sacred burial place and where the treaties of 1841 (unratified) and 1851 Treaty of Mendota were
signed. Ceremonies were also held at the Sacred Spring (Mnihdoka Wakan) that
we have so long struggled to protect.

The Reverend Gary Cavender, spiritual advisor to the Shakopee Dakota, and
Bain Wilson, Tribal elder from the Lower Sioux have supported us. Elders and
spiritual advisors from many nations have been in support of our efforts to
protect these sacred places for our ancestors to rest in peace.

We held a ceremony for World Peace and Prayer Day at Coldwater Spring on June 21, 1999 that was attended by several nations. We had a feast afterward at
the site of the Four Sacred Oaks Spiritual Encampment

We have received a resolution from the National Congress of American Indians
supporting our position to protect our sacred sites. The National Congress
is the oldest and largest national organization established in 1944,
comprised of representatives of and advocates for national, regional and
local Tribal concerns. A resolution was also received from the Iowa Tribe of
Oklahoma, a tribe that was historically in the area.

We want to thank the MNHS for C0-Sponsoring (Our History Our Story) Our story will be told some time in 2017 at the DuPuis House in Mendota.

Many of us are related to Hypolite DuPuis married Joseph Renville’s daughter, Angelique, in 1836.





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