“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.



We have kept an office in Mendota for over 21 years, thanks to our members, donations, and a few grants. Mostly our members!

We are now going on our 18th Pow Wow (Wacipi), scheduled for September 8, 9, 10, 2017, at St Peter’s Church, 1405 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota Minnesota, 55150.

Despite our people being here for centuries, we have never been in a
reservation situation. We have remained a Dakota Community despite the

  • The assimilation of 200 years.
  • 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 what happened in Oklahoma.
  • 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 includes the protection and preservation of the Dakota culture and language. It is our dream to establish a community center, health facilities for our people, and a learning center for all people, and re-establish our language and cultural ties for our community and our descendants.

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. The most important part of this testimony, largely presented by then-Tribal Chair Bob Brown’s sister, Linda Marie Brown, and wife, Linda Brown, was ignored.  This resulted in the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s decision to eliminate the Four Sacred Grandfather Oaks along the proposed site of the State Highway 55 reroute 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 become good friends with Chris Leith in 1997, until he passed away. 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. He
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 ever since. Jim Anderson has continued to be a sun dancer for many years. Chris gave Beverly Scott and Sharon Lennartson their spirit names thru the creator at the Hastings Veteran’s Wacipi.

We have attended many Wacipis, including the past three at the Lower Sioux Reservation in Morton, Minnesota. We have also gone to Wacipis 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, and Joan Minske.

We were co-sponsors of the First Annual Veteran’s Wacipi at the Minnesota State Veteran’s Home in Hastings. We are also involved in the Gathering of Kinship Wacipi at Birch Coulee, honoring the 38 Grandfathers hung at Mankato on December 26, 1862. Jim Anderson and Michael Scott, started our first Wacipi in 1999. We are now planning our 20th Wacipi to be held on September 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 in Pipestone. This was truly a moving experience. We started with virtually nothing and thanks to both tribal members and non-members, 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!!

Lakota Chief Arvol Looking Horse (past and present 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 treaty of 1841 (unratified) and the 1851 Treaty of Mendota were signed. Ceremonies were also held at the Coldwater 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. Arvol Looking Horse also did another ceremony for World Peace and Prayer Day at St. Peter’s Church in Mendota.

We have received a resolution from the National Congress of American Indians supporting our position to protect our sacred sites. The National Congress, established in 1944, is the oldest and largest national organization, 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 Minnesota Historical Society for co-Sponsoring (Our History Our Story) Our story will be told in the summer of 2017 at the DuPuis House in Mendota. The DuPuis House has special significance for the Mendota Dakota Community, because so many members are related to this family. Many of us are descendants of Hypolite DuPuis who married Joseph Renville’s daughter, Angelique, in 1836.

help-us-acquire-landMendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community on facebook
Some documents or posts may still have the old comcast email address.  The correct address is
2016 Wacipi POW WOW flyer