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

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 32 other subscribers

Subscribe to MMDTC

Share email to stay updated!

2016 Wacipi POW WOW flyer

Visitors Since
  • 101,454 Visitors in 2018


1 2 3 32

Radio interview with Dan “The Oak Man” Keiser

Dan Keiser, The Oak Man by Brigitta Greene
The Mendota Dakota tribal community honored arborist Dan Keiser [pictured] at their annual pow wow in September of 2019. Keiser goes by “Oak Man,” a nickname he acquired during the years-long standoff over the construction of Highway 55 in the late 90s. The protest pitted environmental activists and native communities against MnDOT. A central symbol of the fight were four bur oak trees, well over 100 years old, that native communities believed to be sacred, and highway officials said needed to be cleared. The highway ultimately won out, and – 20 years ago this December – the trees came down. But behind the scenes, Keiser took cuttings from the oaks and brought them to an expert who was able to graft them onto new saplings. Keiser then transplanted the grafted trees on the historic grounds of St. Peter’s church in Mendota, and still cares for them today.

Message from Dan: 

If you have about 10 minutes, check out this piece that KFAI radio aired
just last night! The whole show is an hour long, skip over most of it
(like 50 minutes), but tune into the interview from point 12:00 to 21:40.


Dan Keiser, "Dan The Oak Man" radio talk show

Dan Keiser, “Dan The Oak Man” radio talk show

CUI Notice Federal Register Publication – human remains from Iowa

Good afternoon,

After conversation with George Garvin last week, I’d like to start making plans for reburial of the 138 individuals and 32 associated funerary objects in the attached Notice. As you know, the Ho-Chunk Nation has taken the lead in submitting a claim; I also received letters in support of this from the Otoe-Missouria, the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, and the Three Affiliated Tribes.  I’ve been given the go ahead by George to start making arrangements, but do want to be as inclusive as possible. Given their distribution and keeping with reburying as close as possible to original burial locations, it seems that we could conduct reburials at each of our four state-owned cemeteries. So at this time I’d like to arrange a meeting to begin planning

As a starting point, I propose that we meet on November 12, after the OSA’s Advisory Committee meeting, at 1pm, as there will be several of our Indian Advisory Council members here at the OSA, and we can also set up a conference call for others to call in. Please let me know if you’d like to participate, but the date and/or time don’t work for you.

Lara K. Noldner, PhD
Bioarchaeology Director
Office of the State Archaeologist
University of Iowa
700 S Clinton St.
Iowa City, IA

CUI Iowa 2019-04911.pdf

CUI Iowa 2019 notice map

CUI Iowa 2019 notice map

Binaishee Quence Bellanger-Rook departed this earth on September 17, 2019 as her tiny newborn son arrived.

We ask for your support and contributions to the family of Binaishee Quence Bellanger-Rook, who departed this earth on September 17, 2019 as her tiny newborn son arrived.
In addition to her son, she leaves behind her husband, Darrin Cobenais, her daughter Sammie, her siblings Makwa, Jake and Barbie, nieces and nephews, and her mother, Lisa Bellanger.
Lisa is a Rural Coalition Board member and daughter of our founding mother Patricia Bellanger.
Her beautiful daughter Binaishee forever holds a special place in our hearts. With Pat, we watched her grow, and we named the “Binaishee Quence Building the Future Award” in her honor in 1994. Her name means “young bird woman,” and the award recognizes outstanding efforts of leaders, who inspire young people to protect the water and the earth, which nurtures them.
Binaishee had a gentle way of sharing her heart with everyone she met. Over the years, she and her family have welcomed and nurtured and educated and fed and transported and uplifted thousands of people as they protected the Ojibwe culture and lifeways they loved.
With deep thanks for the many blessings Binaishee and her famly have shared in their work for environmental justice and tribal and cultural sovereignty for Indigenous people, Rural Coalition has established the Bellanger Family Fund with the approval of the family. All tax-deductible contributions received for this Fund will be given to the family to sustain them through this difficult part of their journey and so that they may carry on their work in the future, with the love and support of us all.
Your support in any amount is appreciated, as are your messages of support which can also be left using the button below.
1 2 3 32