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Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribe to again seek federal recognition

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MENDOTA, Minn. — At the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers in the heart of the Twin Cities exists the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community (MMDTC), a 125-member group who can trace their ancestry in the area back to the mid 1700s.

But because of issues stemming from the U.S.-Dakota conflict in 1862 when the federal government dissolved treaties with the Dakotas and drove most of them out of the state, MMDTC says it has been dispossessed of its land and federal tribal status.

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Now, for the second time in 25 years, the Mendota Mdewakanton — a word to describe a number of Eastern Dakota or Sioux people — is seeking federal acknowledgement from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

“It’s very important,” said Chairwoman Sharon Lennartson, 74, who has led the MMDTC nonprofit entity for a decade and a half after helping the group organize in 1995. “We’ve wanted this since day one when we started our community.”

Like other Mendota Dakota descendants of mixed-blood ancestry coming from the French fur traders, Lennartson grew up out of touch with her Indian heritage.

“I wasn’t raised Native,” she said. “I never got to dance with my aunties and uncles. That was all taken from me.”

In the late 1990s, groups of Mendota families organized to take back their identities. Their awareness came from the nearby Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which put an ad in the paper looking for descendants. Lennartson’s grandfather was granted land to farm in Shakopee, and her cousins are enrolled tribal members. But Lennartson and several others didn’t qualify for membership under Shakopee’s bylaws.

“Where we really belong is in Shakopee,” said Richard LeClaire, MMDTC’s oldest member and Lennartson’s cousin. “They wouldn’t let us in. They cast us off and told us to go start your own club. And that’s exactly where we are today.”

Lennartson said the main push behind federal recognition hinges on reclaiming historic properties once belonging to their ancestors, including the DuPuis House where her grandparents once lived. The house is currently owned by the state and operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, which gives MMDTC permission to host monthly meetings there.

Additionally, federal recognition would allow MMDTC to apply for certain federal grants and pools of money to help fund programs, such as Dakota language classes, and the group’s annual powwow.

Mendota historian and MMDTC member Greg Strandmark said he feels confident the tribe will meet the Department of Interior’s seven mandatory criteria to gain federal recognition, despite the tribe’s ill preparedness in the process decades earlier.

The group didn’t follow through on its 1996 petition past the “technical assistance” phase because it didn’t have enough research to make its case to the Department of the Interior’s Office of Federal Acknowledgement, which determines if a petition will move through the process of acknowledgment.

“It was a fairly incomplete petition back then,” Strandmark said.

A technical assistance letter from the Office of Federal Acknowledgements informed the MMDTC at the time that “these materials do not provide an adequate basis on which the (Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs) could make a determination concerning federal government acknowledgment under all seven criteria.”

However, after several trips to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and Kansas, plus more information being made available online, the group is ready to submit a petition once again.

Arlinda Locklear, an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and an attorney practicing federal Indian Law for 35 years, said the process of filing a petition presents “a quadruple whammy” for tribes.

The process of meeting all seven criteria requires a “high burden of proof” that necessitates expert analysis, which is expensive especially for resource strapped unrecognized tribes. On top of that, the people who could provide oral testimonies and documentation that might help prove certain criteria for a tribe are aging, Locklear said, noting the federal recognition process can take a generation to complete.

“You have this really awful evidentiary requirement placed upon people with no resources, but at the same time they’re trying to comply with that, they’re losing generations of people who have access to some of that information,” she said. “It’s not uncommon for tribes to spend 20 to 30 years … in the preparation of and in following the processing of these petitions.”

According to Locklear, garnering the extensive documents and expert analysis needed for a strong petition could cost tribes close to $1 million.

For MMDTC, which has existed entirely through volunteers, the petition has cost $500,000 in time and money, according to Strandmark’s estimates.

Challenges from Indian Country

Beyond meeting the onerous criteria from the federal government, the MMDTC also faces challenges from other tribes. To that end, the nearby Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community disputes Mendota’s legitimacy as a tribe.

At the crux of the argument, the Shakopee contend that when Congress bought land for Dakota communities in the 1800s, the Mendota were left out, unlike the other three recognized Dakota communities in Minnesota.

“Land was purchased at Prairie Island, Lower Sioux, and Shakopee,” the community wrote in a statement to Tribal Business News.  “Land was never purchased at Mendota. Based upon our understanding of the tribal recognition process, there is no factual basis for a tribe to secure recognized government status at Mendota.”

A letter from a BIA agent to the commissioner in 1888 noted that land wasn’t purchased for the local Native community in Mendota because it was significantly more expensive than what the agency was willing to spend. The cost at “$500 per acre” in Mendota compared to $15 an acre elsewhere, likely because of the proximity to St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Locklear noted that federally recognized tribes can oppose the recognition process of other tribes as a means of self-preservation and staving off competition for gaming ventures in many cases. For the Shakopee specifically, the tribe’s existing casino would inevitably be threatened if the Mendota were to open a casino less than 10 minutes from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“A lot of recognized tribes have a policy of opposing the recognition of any tribe in their vicinity,” Locklear said. “I’ve seen it in (the) Northwest, I’ve seen it on the east coast. It happens all over the country. It happens when there is potential for gaming competition. It happens when there is potential for participation in a pro-rata share of treaty fishing rights. It happens when there is concern about sharing limited Indian Health Services appropriations.

“A lot of these reasons … relate to there being too little resources on the table in the first place for Native communities.”

Kevin Washburn (Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma), the former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior and current dean at the University of Iowa College of Law, said that in some cases, the challenges from one tribe group to another goes beyond economic considerations.

If there was no gaming in the world, I’m not sure that the opposition would go away,” he said. “It goes to the core of identity in some cases.”

‘Generational’ process

Ultimately, MMDTC members expect the road to federal recognition will be a long one. Currently, the BIA has six petitions “in process” that have each been submitted as far back as 1994, with no time limit set for a decision. An additional five potential tribes are in the pipeline once they supplement their petitions.

“Most of these tribes that have gone through federal recognition, they’ve been going through it for decades. It’s generational,” Strandmark said. “If we get federal recognition, I’ll go to the spirit world knowing that 100 years from now, the community will still be there. It won’t be forgotten in history.”

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About The Author
Jenna Kunze
Staff Writer
Jenna Kunze is a reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. Kunze’s bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Smithsonian Magazine and Anchorage Daily News. In 2020, she was one of 16 U.S. journalists selected by the Pulitzer Center to report on the effects of climate change in the Alaskan Arctic region. Prior to that, she served as lead reporter at the Chilkat Valley News in Haines, Alaska. Kunze is based in New York.
Other Articles by this author

We are not a Competition Wacipi, we are a Traditional Wacipi, as most of you know.

Just to clarify some questions.

Come dance, eat and have fun, with the Mendota Community over the weekend.

The Mendota Members would like to invite you to Mendota’s 21th Annual Traditional Wacipi – Pow Wow Sept 10- 11-12-2021.

Website: www.mendotadakota.com

We are not a competition Wacipi; we are a traditional Wacipi, we dance to dance. There is a small payout. Adult’s $25.00, Juniors ages 17 – 9, $20.00, tiny toys 8 – 1, $10.00. This is for each grand entry. Mendota’s way of saying Pidamaya for coming to our Wacipi / Pow Wow from near and far.

St Peter’s Church grounds 1405 Sibley Memorial Hwy Mendota, MN 55120. St Peters Church is the oldest church in MN it was built in 1840.

St Peter’s has graciously let us use the church grounds for 21 years.

Open to the public bring the kids!

No pets allowed for liability reasons. Service Dogs Allowed.

Come get the best fry bread and maple butter and best Indian Tacos ever!

We have some of the best food and craft vendors around.

Come watch all the dancers, especially the tiny tots.

Come see the Kalpulli Huitzillin dancers on Saturday night at 5:00ish.

Let us all dance together!

Friday night opening ceremonies at 5:05 we light the scared fire. People bring a dish to pass for the feast.

We honor all our veterans each year. We have handicap and elder assistance.

MC: Gary Charwood.

Arena Director: Allen Hardy.

Host Drum: Scotty Brown Eyes – Oyate Teca.

Co Host: Drum Midnight Express.

Men’s Head Dancer: David Carson.

Women’s Head Dancer: Lisa Bellanger.

Spiritual Adviser: Chris Mato Nunpa

Mendota Princess: Ameyalli Anderson.

Grand Entry on Sept 11, at 1:00 and 7:00 pm.

Grand entry on Sept 12, at 1:00 pm.

Feast on Sunday around 6:00ish pm.

All buttons are a $5.00 donation, helps pay for the Wacipi. Free admission NO ONE turned away!

No alcohol or drugs.

Bring lawn chairs, seating is limited.

Volunteers are needed, please call Maria McNamara at mmcnamara1954@gmail.com, cell 651-239-5163.

Donations are welcome please send a check to MMDTC.

Tribal Office is 1351 Sibley Memorial Hwy PO Box 50835 Mendota MN, 55150.

Email: mendotadakota@gmail.com

www.mendotadakota.com

Sponsored By: The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community.

Pidamaya – means Thank You in Dakota.

Tribal Chairwoman Sharon Lennartson.

Jason Delmont Vice Chairman / Secretary.

Joseph Lennartson: Treasurer

Gregory Standmark: Historian

Tommy Tomahawk and Jason Hop: Head Security!

Everything must go through Sharon.

We still need more help with the Wacipi Sept 10-12-2021.

The Wacipi is only around 6 weeks away that will fry by. Started working on Wacipi in March.

Estimate expense for our 21 Wacipi Sept 10-12-2021. Set up Sept 7 -10th.

We have $18,000 for the Wacipi. We still need around $8,000 to pay everything.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Thank you to all who have donated so far.

Security.

Spiritual Adviser.

Paid clean up small jobs.

Adults Dancers woman and men.

Teens.

Tiny Tots.

Host Drum, Co Host, other drums could be up to $3,500.

MC.

Arena Director.

Dancers Registration.

Button Booth.

Honor Guards.

Fry bread fryers two sisters.

Aztec Dancers.

All Supplies.

T Shirts.

History panels $1,400.00, must be turned in by Aug 15.

Food for food booth about $1,200.

Food to feed helpers.

Hotel rooms $1,000.

Pods 160.00.

Toilets $1,000 2 handicaps, 8 reg maybe 9 reg?

Garbage $700.00

Wood.

Buttons.

Tobacco donation.

Sage donation.

Dancers get $75.00 each if they dance all 3 grand entries. We don’t know how many we will have/

Teens $60.00 if they dance all 3 grand entries

Tiny Tots $30.00 if they dance all 3 grand entries

If no price it is because some people don’t want how much their making.

Can you help, you can pick one to pay if you want. If you can donate please email Sharon mendotadakota.com as to which one you can help with.

Any donation small or large will help.

This is Sharon’s last Wacipi. Someone else needs to take over. I have done Wacipi for over 16 years. Turning 75 on August 28. Time to retire.

Pidamaya ye.

Mitakuye Owasin in Dakota.

We Are All Related.

Good Thunder Woman English, ( Wakiya Waste Win ) in Dakota ). A proud Dakota Elder.

Love Sharon

 

 

Sharon’s 75th Potluck Birthday Party Aug 28th, VFW in Mendota MN 55150. No gifts!!

Sharon’s Lennartson 75 Birthday Party Sat Aug 28. At the VFW in Mendota, MN 55150. 1-5 potluck.

If you have not got an invite please email us, we will send you an invite. Please RSVP – ASAP. mendotadkaota@gmail.com. We need to know how much food to order?

Please let us know what you may bring?

My mother Tribal Chairwoman Sharon Lennartson will be 75 on August 28, 2021. Birthday flyer below.

Saturday August 28, at the VFW in Mendota, MN 55150 from 1-4 maybe longer!

Half a block from our tribal office.

Down the hill from St Peters Catholic Church same side of St.

VFW address 1323 Sibley Memorial Hwy Mendota MN, 55150.

We really hope you can come to this special party, come cerebrate with us, and to acknowledge all her hard work for 27 years. 30 years if we go back to the beginning of our community. Mom has been tribal chair for 16 years.

I have seen how hard she works for volunteering  her time to Mendota everyday 7 days a week no pay.

Saturday August 28, at the VFW in Mendota, MN 55150, from 1-5 maybe longer Indian time.

What ever people bring for a potluck!

Reply to this email if you will be attending as this is invite only and we need to know how much main food to order.

No gifts, unless you want to donate to the Wacipi for raffle booth.

We just want you to spent the afternoon with Sharon and family.

No children please, the party is at a VFW there will be alcohol.

Come see many family members.

Hope to see you there. Can you write a little story about my mom if you want. They will be a nice memory for her. We should be celebrating that too. How long she has devoted her live to Mendota.

Sponsored by The Mendota Council, myself Joe, my brothers are Sean Monahan, Dan Monahan and grandchildren Sam and Nick.

Thank you Joe Lennartson

Email memdotadakota@gmail.com,  if you would like to set up and take down the party.

Donation Request Letter for our 21st Traditional Pow Wow Sept 10-12-2021

Donation Request Letter for our 21st Traditional Pow Wow Sept 10-12-2021 at St Peters Church in Mendota, MN 55150.

Please start to have your donations in by July. That is only a few months, to see what we can buy or not buy?

Gift cards cards welcome.

A Wacipi or (Pow-Wow) is a social gathering that focuses on traditional dance, song, and celebration.

A tribute to a great ancestry, the Wacipi or (Pow Wow) is an event of significance to the Native American Nations. MMDTC has been a community for 26 years.

Our 21st Annual Traditional Wacipi or (Pow-Wow) is September 10-11-12 2021. It can be a valuable and fascinating cultural experience.

As a small tribal community, we operate on member’s contributions and donations. We are not affiliated with the other Minnesota Mdewakanton Dakota communities. We do not have Federal Recognition.

This is also a way to support your local Native American Community in Mendota MN.

A $5 button donation helps with our expenses. No one is turned away, and admission is free. We do accommodate elders, handicap, and veterans. We pay for our event with the help of individual and corporate donors, in-kind donations, charging vendors for craft booth space, and food booth and button sales. Please help us fund this event if you are able.

$20.00  $100 $250   $350  $500 Other $__________. Please make checks to MMDTC.

Gift cards are nice to have for raffle or just to hand out.

We also need volunteers to hold a successful Wacipi. Call the office if you want to volunteer asap.

This year the Mendota Community really needs your help for the Wacipi. We did not have a Wacipi last year because of covid.

We did not get our grant for the Wacipi this year.

The Wacipi must go on; we need to dance.

Along with donations needed to fund this event, we also accept donations for our raffle and auction booth. If you donate, we put you in our brochure.

Please call our office at 651-452-4141 with any questions. We hope that you will consider this request for the important work we do in preserving and sharing our Dakota heritage in Minnesota.

MMDTC. P.O. Box 50835, 1351 Sibley Memorial Hwy Mendota, MN 55150. SEND TO THE P.O. BOX.

Thank You from; Sharon Lennartson Tribal Chairwomen, Jason Delmont Vice Chairman & Secretary, Greg Strandmark Historian, and Joseph Lennartson Treasurer.

The Mendota Tribal Council & Wacipi Committee.

Sicangu Youth Council help provide a formal burial at the Rosebud Indian Reservation

Vi Waln
Special to Indian Country Today

ROSEBUD INDIAN RESERVATION — Dora Her Pipe (Brave Bull) just wanted to go home.

After being ripped from her family in South Dakota at 16 and shipped 1,500 miles to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1879, she asked to be sent home in January 1881 because of illness.

Just three months later, she was dead. It would take another 140 years before she returned to her family and her homelands, wrapped in a buffalo robe in a cedar box.

“My sisters, brother and I are the fifth-generation descendants of Her Pipe,” Bernadine Red Bear, daughter of the late Christine Crow Dog-Red Bear, told a group gathered Saturday, July 17, at the public burial service for the children.

“We didn’t know we had a relative in Carlisle. We are the only living family members to take care of our relative, Dora Her Pipe (Brave Bull).”

Dora, the daughter of Brave Bull, was among nine Sicangu ancestors to make it home last week, more than a century after they died at the notorious boarding school. They were escorted home to Rosebud Friday, stopping first at Whetstone Bay, where they had taken a steamboat to Pennsylvania in 1879.

On Saturday, they finally were laid to rest at the Rosebud Indian Reservation with public and private ceremonies, prayers and honor songs.

“When I went to Whetstone Bay, they told me this was the last time they saw their relatives,” Red Bear said at the service. “I could only imagine her saying in Lakota, ‘Mother, I don’t want to go. Father, help me, I don’t want to go.’

“We have our children and grandchildren here with us today,” Red Bear said. “How would you feel if someone just came and took them away from you? They [the wasicu] are cowards; they take children and they do this to them.

“Today, I’m happy for my mother’s tribe, the Sicangu Oyate, and what they did for these children.”

Just children

The children ranged in age from 10 to 18 when they left for Carlisle. Most of the girls went for three-year terms; the boys, for five-year terms, according to school records.

In addition to Dora, there was Dennis Strikes First (Blue Tomahawk); Rose Long Face (Little Hawk); Lucy Take The Tail (Pretty Eagle); Warren Painter (Bear Paints Dirt); Ernest Knocks Off (White Thunder); Maud Little Girl (Swift Bear); Friend Hollow Horn Bear; and Alvan (Roaster), who was also called Kills Seven Horses and One That Kills Seven Horses.

Six of the children — Dora, Dennis, Maud, Rose, Alvan and Ernest — were in the first group from Pine Ridge and Rosebud to be sent to the school. They arrived Oct. 6, 1879, and within two years, five would be dead from pneumonia, measles, infections or other causes.

The return this month of the ancestral remains comes as international scrutiny has focused on the history of Indigenous boarding schools in North America. Nearly 1,000 unmarked graves have been discovered at former residential schools in Canada, and researchers in the United States are now working to find graves at boarding schools here.

Details are sketchy in the U.S. about the number of schools and students who attended. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, has launched an initiative to cull through government records to identify the children who attended and find those who were buried without their families.

The Carlisle school became the prototype for both the U.S. and Canadian boarding schools. The founder of Carlisle was Army Brigadier General Richard Henry Pratt, whose infamous comment, “kill the Indian, save the man,” defined the assimilationist policies and militaristic system that forced children to cut their hair, abandon their Native clothing and disavow their language.

The Rosebud children were among 10 students whose remains were disinterred at the school; the remains of an Alaskan Aleut child were returned home earlier this year. The return followed years of work by Sicangu Youth Council members, who visited the school then pushed to have their relatives returned.

In all, more than 190 children died at Carlisle from the time it opened in 1879 until it closed in 1918.

A studio portrait from about 1880 shows Ernest (Knocks Off), Sicangu Oyate, wearing a Carlisle Indian Industrial School uniform. Ernest arrived at the school in the first group of students from Pine Ridge and Rosebud on Oct. 6, 1879, and died on Dec. 13, 1880. His remains were finally shipped home to his family 140 years later in July 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society)

A studio portrait from about 1880 shows Ernest (Knocks Off) wearing a Carlisle Indian School uniform. Ernest arrived at the school in the first group of students from Pine Ridge and Rosebud on Oct. 6, 1879, and died on Dec. 13, 1880. His remains were finally shipped home to his family 140 years later in July 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society)

The first deaths

Ernest and Maud were the first of the Rosebud group to die at Carlisle, passing within hours of each other just 14 months after they arrived at the school.

School records indicate that Ernest, 18, had a sore throat and was sent to the hospital in October 1880. Officials reported that he did not want to take the “disagreeable” treatment, and refused medicine and food, according to a report on the two deaths. He died Dec. 14, 1881.

Maud, 17, died the same day — the first girl to die at the school, according to the report.

Officials at the time reported she died of pneumonia, saying she had weakened lungs and could not resist infection. But that’s not the story tribal members learned when they visited the school site last month.

Ione Quigley, the tribal historical preservation officer at Rosebud who helped prepare the remains for the trip back to South Dakota, said officials told them there were three bodies in the grave — Maud and two younger, unidentified children.

There is no record at Carlisle of three children buried in one grave, and a ceremony was later held at Rosebud seeking spiritual guidance.

“We were told after ceremony that she took two little ones with her and ran away,” Quigley said. “They froze and were all buried together… I reminded the Army officials that they give their word that they won’t leave a comrade behind, but they separated the three sets of remains of our ancestors.”

Quigley said the deaths of the three children are evidence that conditions at the school were very poor. She believes the other two children are also Rosebud children.

“She would not have left the school unless something was wrong,” she said. “She wouldn’t have taken just any child; she would have taken her own relatives. I was frustrated that we couldn’t bring them back with her. The Army would not let the remains go because they were named as ‘unknown.’”

She continued, “There are six graves in the cemetery at Carlisle that are labeled Sioux, so they could be from any one of our tribes. There are also 16 children buried in graves who are listed as unknown.”

Dennis, 13, died less than a month after Maud and the children, on Jan. 10, 1881, of what was reported as typhoid pneumonia.

‘Suffocation attacks’

The day after Dennis died, Dora was admitted to the hospital with chest pain and fever, according to a physician’s report included among school records collected from the Carlisle school at the Cumberland County Historical Society.

It was about that time that she asked to go home to her family, Red Bear said.

This photo, taken about 1880, shows Dora Her Pipe (Brave Bull), Rosebud Sioux,  seated, with Fanny Knife Holder, Kiowa. Dora arrived at the school at age 16 on Oct. 6, 1879, with the first group of students from Rosebud and Pine Ridge. She died of what was believed to be pneumonia on April 24, 1881.  Fanny, 10, arrived a few weeks later, on Oct. 27, 1879, but left the following August in ill health, according to school records. (Photo courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society)

This photo, taken about 1880, shows Dora Her Pipe (Brave Bull), Sicangu, seated, with Fanny Knife Holder, Kiowa. Dora arrived at the school at age 16 on Oct. 6, 1879, with the first group of students from Rosebud and Pine Ridge. She died of what was believed to be pneumonia on April 24, 1881. Fanny, 10, arrived a few weeks later, on Oct. 27, 1879, but left the following August in ill health, according to school records. (Photo courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society)

“Our little grandmother got sick several times,” Red Bear said at the burial Saturday. “She requested to come home in January 1881 because of her illness, but they didn’t let her come home. When she died, they kept her there and buried her there when they could have brought her home.”

Dora had seemed to improve at first, and then worsened. She was assumed to have contracted measles, since the school was in the midst of what the doctor described as a “measles epidemic.” She later developed bronchitis so severe that she had “suffocation attacks,” and died April 24, 1881, the doctor said.

“The succession of diseases, pneumonia, measles, bronchitis, proved more than she could endure,” the doctor concluded in his letter notifying the commissioner of Indian Affairs of her death.

Rose died just five days after Dora.

The doctor notified Pratt of Rose’s death in a letter dated May 4, 1881. The doctor reported she started treatment March 29 for congestion and pain in her chest, but did not have obvious signs of measles.

She began to run a high fever, and the doctor suspected she had pneumonia. Within a month, she was dead.

“She became weak and much debilitated and died suddenly and unexpectedly,” he wrote. “The immediate cause of death being, as I believe, congestion of lungs, brought on by sudden chill.”

‘He is better now’

Alvan, who was 12 when he arrived, lived more than two years at Carlisle. Although the cause of his death on March 29, 1882, is not known, the newspaper of the Carlisle Barracks printed a note from another tribal citizen reporting the boy’s death.

“Day before yesterday one of the Sioux boys died,” wrote Luther Standing Bear on March 31, 1882. “We were very glad for him. Because he is better now than he was on Earth.”

Quigley, the Rosebud historical preservation officer, said Standing Bear’s comments offer another look into the grim conditions at the school. He was a Carlisle survivor who later recounted the story in a book.

“I cried,” she said, “because when a child says of another child that ‘he is in a better place,’ something horrible must have made them think that way.”

A group portrait shows the first female students to arrive at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux reservations on October 6, 1879. Several of the girls in the photo later died and were buried at the school for more than 140 years before finally being sent to their relatives in South Dakota in July 2021. School matron Sarah Mather is standing at left and interpreter Charles Tackett is standing at right. (Photo courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society)

A group portrait shows the first female students to arrive at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux reservations on October 6, 1879. Several of the girls in the photo later died and were buried at the school for more than 140 years before finally being sent to their relatives in South Dakota in July 2021. School matron Sarah Mather is standing at left and interpreter Charles Tackett is standing at right. (Photo courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society)

The last three ancestors came to Rosebud over the next two years. Warren arrived on Nov. 30, 1882, at age 15. Lucy and Friend arrived on Nov. 14, 1883.

Lucy was just 10 when she arrived at Carlisle. She died just four months later, on March 9, 1884. A note in the newspaper said she “was not in health” when she arrived, but additional details were not provided.

Warren died six months after Lucy, on Sept. 30, 1884. He had been sent out in April 1884 to work with a Pennsylvania farmer, described as a “patron” in school records, but returned in August.

There is no mention in school records whether Warren was sent back because he was sick, though he died just a month after returning to the school. A line in a school ledger notes only, “Warren Painter died.”

A group portrait shows the first male students to arrive at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from Pine Ridge and Rosebud on October 6, 1879. Several of the boys in the photo later died and were buried at the school for more than 140 years before finally being sent to their relatives in South Dakota in July 2021. School founder Richard Henry Pratt is standing at left, and interpreter Charles Tackett is standing at right. (Photo courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society)

A group portrait shows the first male students to arrive at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from Pine Ridge and Rosebud on October 6, 1879. Several of the boys in the photo later died and were buried at the school for more than 140 years before finally being sent to their relatives in South Dakota in July 2021. School founder Richard Henry Pratt is standing at left, and interpreter Charles Tackett is standing at right. (Photo courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society)

Friend, who was 17 when he arrived, stayed with the school system for more than two years before he died on May 21, 1886. Little information is available about his death, but it was also noted in a school ledger, “Friend H.H.B. died.”

A final homecoming

Sicangu tribal and spiritual leaders, along with several young Lakota adults, worked together Saturday to give the ancestors a traditional burial.

Quigley worked ahead to prepare them for the journey, carefully wrapping each child’s remains in a buffalo robe and placing them in a cedar box. Earth from the grave was also included in the box, in case bone fragments had fallen loose into the ground.

Quigley expressed gratitude to Sicangu medicine man Waycee His Holy Horse, as well as the late Chief Leonard Crow Dog, for preparing her to bring the ancestors home.

“Grandpa Crow Dog told me about Dora,” Quigley said. “She was meant to come home and hold the pipe for her people. She never got the chance to do that.”

Crow Dog, who has since died, left instructions for how the relatives should be cared for, she said.

And so they were.

On Saturday, a military color guard of eight Native women soldiers assisted with the funeral and public burials. They stood guard by the small graves, holding an American flag, a Rosebud Sioux Tribal Flag and an orange flag made especially for the occasion.

Several young people, including members of the Sicangu Youth Council, oversaw the burial at the veteran’s cemetery, stepping into the open graves to lower the remains inside.

The first item put into the ground was dirt at the bottom of the cedar boxes. Then came the buffalo robe bundle that held the remains. Gifts provided by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, family members and others were placed on top of the bundle, then covered with a specially made star quilt. Soil that had surrounded each grave at Carlisle was poured on top.

Each ancestor was gifted a Rosebud Sioux tribal flag and a prayer flag. The Army also provided an American flag for each child. The flags were presented to family members or the young people who sparked the return of the nine ancestors.

Prayers were offered at the public gravesites by medicine men Richard Moves Camp and Keith Horse Looking. The Red Leaf singers sang the Little Big Horn memorial song, as well as a prayer and honor song.

“Today is a day of healing. I’m very proud to be Lakota,” Moves Camp said.

“We can’t be sad anymore,” he said. “Today, we proudly bring our relatives home. Now, let’s take better care of our children, so that they are not running around in the street, drinking alcohol or using drugs. Let’s prepare our children for a good future. Now it’s time for us to learn our ancestors’ teachings. We must learn to speak the language. We must learn about our culture.

“Bring the old teachings to the modern world.”

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Pray for Rain Full Moon Walk at Coldwater Springs – Friday, July 23, 2021

Pray for Rain Full Moon Walk at Coldwater Springs – Friday, July 23, 2021

Inbox

Coldwater Springs

Mon, Jul 19, 7:03 PM (2 days ago)
to Coldwater, bcc: me

Pray for Rain Full Moon Walk at Sacred Coldwater Springs

Friday, July 23, 2021

Gather at the park entrance, 7pm

Park at pay meters on the Hwy 55 access road via credit card/quarters

We need rain. On this date in 1987 there was a 15-inch rain event here. A municipal festival was scheduled with city powers-that-be trying to forestall the rain. Meanwhile clouds were building up and up in the southwest like a chocolate fudge sundae for a god.

 

 

Check out the photos of severely eroded Riley Creek in Eden Prairie. In one photo people in the background are collecting spring water at the Spring Road turnout. The city council voted to permit construction of 50, 3-garage homes on the ridge directly above the Fredrick-Miller Spring which empties into Riley Creek where these photos were taken. The unstable sandy ridge is glacial outwash along the Minnesota River that used to be 5-miles wide.

 

Controlling water is a  limited human power.

 

Give a blessing, get a blessing. Blessings travel in circles.

Traditional group howl. One full moon our howl was answered by a human clan return howl.

 

Friends of Coldwater seek to honor our 10,000-year-old landscape ancestor. Full moon walks have been celebrated at Coldwater Springs monthly since 2000. We return to remember the spirits that feed this Spring.

 

Sunset 8:51 pm   (13 minutes earlier than the previous full moon)

Moonrise 9:09 pm   (23 minutes earlier than the last month full moon)

Exact minute of full moon pm  9:38 pm Central Time

 

DIRECTIONS: Coldwater Springs is between Minnehaha Park & Fort Snelling, in Minneapolis, just North of the Hwy 55/62 interchange. From Hwy 55/Hiawatha, turn East (toward the Mississippi) at 54th Street, take an immediate right, & drive all the way down on the frontage road where you can park at the pay meters.

Gather at the cul-de-sac, which is the Coldwater Park entrance.

All welcome. We observe COVID-19 safety mandates. Dress for the weather, especially sturdy footwear.

 

We celebrate the full moon in all-weather however the length of the walk depends on conditions. If it’s really cold or wet it’s a quick 10-minutes to the spring outflow gurgling from under the limestone bedrock Spring House built in the 1880s to supply potable water to Fort Snelling.

This gathering is free and open to the public.

#FullMoonWalk #FullMoon #ColdwaterSprings #MinneapolisNature

Contact Us

Friends of Coldwater Website

 

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Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition Information

MIWSAC Transparent Logo Color
Creating Safety and Justice Through the Teachings of Our Grandmothers

4 Dakota landmarks hide in plain sight along the Mississippi River.

Nice article about Dakota sacred sites. Mendota calls this  Mdota.

4 Dakota landmarks hide in plain sight along the Mississippi River.

To increase knowledge of Dakota culture and heritage, the Minnesota Humanities Center worked with Dakota scholars to develop a tour of significant sites.

The Dakota call a baby’s first cry “bdote,” a word also used to describe the confluence of two rivers. In Dakota culture, water is as sacred and primary as a newborn’s gasp for air.

The bdote of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers is among the most important to the Dakota, with sites of birth and burial, hurt and healing tucked into the modern urban infrastructure along the shores.

Although the Dakota are considered Minnesota’s first people, their history and lives have often been absent from the dominant narrative. But recent controversies at local institutions have raised greater awareness of the Dakota perspective. This summer, Lake Calhoun officially reverted to its Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska. Last summer, the Walker Art Center removed a sculpture evoking the 1862 hanging of 38 Dakota men. Around the same time, Alexander Ramsey Middle School in Minneapolis dropped its association with the Minnesota governor who declared that all Dakota “must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.”

To increase local knowledge of Dakota culture and heritage, the Minnesota Humanities Center worked with Dakota scholars to develop a daylong guided tour of ­significant native sites, including Mounds Park, Wakan Tipi, Fort Snelling and Pilot Knob. Whether you visit these sites on your own or as part of the tour, here’s what to expect.

 

 

Indian Mounds Regional Park (10 Mounds Blvd., St. Paul)

The earthen mounds were created by indigenous people 2,000 years ago on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, across from what is now the St. Paul Downtown Airport. There were once dozens of sacred burial mounds in the area before they were razed by developers and the city of St. Paul, which now owns the park. Today, six mounds remain, enrobed in tall grass and wildflowers.

Years ago, the city used to mow them. Outdoor enthusiasts scaled them, covered the area with toboggan tracks and even used it as a ski jump. In the 1800s, the mounds were sloppily excavated and likely looted. Bones and other objects went to the Minnesota Historical Society, Macalester College and other museum or personal collections. A 1990 federal law strengthens protections for grave sites and helps repatriate the artifacts.

The mounds are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and surrounded by wrought-iron fences to protect them. Descendants of the people who built them conduct ceremonies there today, and visitors are asked to respect the ancient site.

Wakan Tipi at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary (4th Street E., St. Paul)

On this marshy flood plain beside the Mississippi, a limestone cave known as Wakan Tipi, or House of the Spirits, was an important tribal meeting site long before explorer Jonathan Carver was credited with its discovery.

It’s less than a mile from downtown St. Paul, but feels worlds apart. In the restored woodland and wetland, you can see bald eagles and blue herons. Water bubbles up from a spring near the cave’s entrance, creating a habitat for medicinal plants.

The enormous steel plate that used to barricade the cave has been replaced by less foreboding fencing. But both structures arrived too late to protect the animal petroglyphs once carved into the cave’s soft yellow stone. The images were destroyed, along with the front of the cave, when the area served as an industrial railroad corridor in the mid-1800s.

The area’s old brewery, sawmills and lumberyards have since shuttered, and the long polluted site was abandoned by the 1970s. After an extensive cleanup effort, it became the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in 2005.

Historic Fort Snelling/Fort Snelling State Park (200 Tower Av. and 101 Snelling Lake Rd., St. Paul)

The Minnesota Historical Society operates the massive stone fortress perched above the nexus of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, while the Department of Natural Resources runs the wooded state park at water’s edge.

The fort features period re-enactors who forge metal and fire cannons. Until a few years ago, it hosted kids’ birthday parties. But it’s not a celebratory place for the Dakota.

In 1862, as the Dakota men who had fought U.S. soldiers and settlers faced military trials, a group of more than 1,600 Dakota, mostly women, children and elderly, were forcibly marched more than 100 miles from the Lower Sioux reservation to Fort Snelling. The marchers suffered physical abuse and were attacked by angry mobs of settlers as they passed through towns. Many died during the journey and in the months the group was interned at Fort Snelling.

Recently, the Historical Society has begun describing the stockade where the Dakota were held as a concentration camp. Although the captives were not executed, it was part of a genocidal policy.

In 2002, the first Dakota Commemorative March retraced the route to remember those who endured the trip. The weeklong walk, which has typically taken place every other year since, ends at the park, where a memorial structure of large wooden beams sits beside the visitors center.

Pilot Knob (Pilot Knob Rd., Mendota Heights)

A high bluff in Mendota Heights looks out on Fort Snelling, with sweeping views of the river valley and the Minneapolis and St. Paul skylines. In Dakota, it’s known as Oheyawahi, “a hill much visited,” and was a site for ceremony and burials.

Behind a cemetery and an off-leash dog park, a path to the edge of the bluff winds through the tall grass prairie, spiked with black-eyed Susans and purple bergamot. It leads to seven 2-ton limestone blocks, arranged in a circle as seats for representatives of the seven Dakota divisions, or council fires. After nearly becoming a townhouse development in 2002, Pilot Knob is now on the National Register.

In 1851, the Treaty of Mendota was signed here, moving the Dakota off their homeland and onto reservations. On a sign that explains how the treaty “transferred 35 million acres of Dakota land to the United States,” the word “transferred” has been scratched out and replaced with the word “STOLE.”

Very sad to have lost these woman within a short time of each other all good friends.

We will be honoring these woman at our Wacipi Sept 10 -12-2021.

Sister Jan Dalsin

Jeannie Hollingworth’s

Christina Fowler Mrs. John Gebhardt

Cheryl Fields

These 4 amazing woman were around since the Coldwater and Hi Way 55 days.

All would have been at the Wacipi vending, dancing, showing support, just being the loving woman they all were.

They will all be dearly missed.

We will honor them, if you would like to say something about any or all, please let us know asap.

If anyone want to get pictures of each of them let me know.

We need someone to organize this like pictures, stories, etc.

The Mendota Tribal Council and it Members.

Love you all, until we meet again. Love Good Thunder Woman. Sharon

 

 

Cheryl Fields May 28, 1950 – July 1st 2021 age 71. Just hear this 2 hours ago on 7-11-21 very sad.

 

Christina J. Fowler November 19, 1971 ~ June 24, 2021 (age 49) Service in Aug.

Christina J. Fowler

November 19, 1971 ~ June 24, 2021 (age 49)

Obituary

Christina Johanna Fowler 49, passed away at her home in St Paul MN on the evening of Thursday June 24, 2021.

Formerly from Boise Idaho, Christina enjoyed her work as a Massage Therapist and a Native American Artist.  She participated in women’s traditional dancing at Native American Pow Wows over the years.  Her artwork included Native American crafts, jewelry, and beadwork. Christina enjoyed sharing her knowledge.

She is survived by her husband of 9 years John, brother David (Debbie), parents Susan and Darrell, her daughter Amethyst, as well as granddaughters Kara and Gracen.

Christina is  lovingly remembered by all who knew her.

 

If you are donating to the Wacipi / Pow Wow Gift Cards people seem to like.

If you do please give Walmart or Target gift cards again, people seen to like them.

Gift cards from Lucky’s or Axel’s are good too. Anywhere is good, even fast food. Anything will be appreciated!
Send cards to:
Sharon Lennartson
The Powwow Committee / MMDTC
945 Redwood Dr
Apple Valley, MN 55124

Minnesota Human Rights Act.

(Minnesota Human Rights Act) Does the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community have any RIGHTS! It sure does not feels like we do?

We only want what belongs to us as Native Americans Indigenous People of Minnesota. Our rights, dignity, respect, and honorary.

The Mendota Tribal Council.

Sharon Lennartson Tribal Chairwoman 651-452-4141 Tribal Office in Mendota, MN 55150.

Canton Asylum for Insane Native American Indians. Horrific Place to put our people.

Canton Asylum for Insane Indians

View across a grassy area with trees and fence in the background.

Quick Facts

The Canton Asylum cemetery is located on the Hiawatha Municipal Golf course. The land has a gentle slope with trees nearby. The cemetery is enclosed by a split-rail fence, which was installed circa 1992. The fence was installed to deter golfers from playing through the cemetery. This action has been somewhat successful. The cemetery is approximately 120 feet by 80 feet. The cemetery is located between the golf course clubhouse and Canton-lnwood Hospital.

The first death occurred at the asylum on May 20, 1903. The superintendent notified the agent of the reservation where the patient had originally lived. After receiving no request to send the body home, the superintendent made arrangement for an interment on the grounds. A section of land was reserved, and over the next thirty years, it received the remains of patients at the asylum. The Bureau of Indian Affairs informed Superintendent Gifford that stone markers were unwarranted, so the graves were unmarked. On a chart hanging in the office, the superintendent recorded the name and location of each deceased patient. However in 1970, a complete burial stone with a bronze plaque was placed in the cemetery. Listed on the plaque are the names of 120 patients who had died and were buried at Canton during the thirty-two years of the institution.

The Canton Asylum Cemetery is historically significant for its association with the Native Americans (Indians) and the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians. The cemetery was used between 1903 and 1934 for the patients at the Asylum. The Canton Asylum was the second federal institution for the insane, predated only by Saint Elizabeths in Washington, D. C., which had been established in 1855. 1 In the late 1940s, the asylum was razed. The cemetery is the only remaining site associated with the asylum. The Canton Asylum Cemetery relates to the South Dakota State context in the areas of Depression and Rebuilding 1893-1929, under Civic Improvements and New Government-Related Structures and Sioux Era 1750 to present, under Government-Constructed sites and structures.

Amazon Smile or Smile Amazon for your charity MMDTC.

Your current charity

Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community

Location: Mendota MN | Year Founded: 1996

Mission: We bridge the gap between Indian and non-Indian communities. Our commitment to sustaining Dakota language and culture is our organization’s 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. Traditional Wacipi or Pow-Wow, Language Class, Culture Class, Teaching men to learn the drum and songs. Teaching woman and children the Dakota songs., Regalia Class, MMDTC Culture and Learning Class.

Announcement of our Wacipi organization and rules.

The Mendota Members would like to invite you to Mendota’s 21th Annual Traditional Wacipi – Pow Wow Sept 10- 11-12-2021.

Website: www.mendotadakota.com

We are not a competition Wacipi; we are a traditional Wacipi, we dance to dance. There is a small payout. Adult’s $25.00, Juniors ages 17 – 9, $20.00, tiny toys 8 – 1, $10.00. This is for each grand entry. Mendota’s way of saying Pidamaya for coming to our Wacipi / Pow Wow from near and far.

St Peter’s Church grounds 1405 Sibley Memorial Hwy Mendota, MN 55120. St Peters Church is the oldest church in MN it was built in 1840.

St Peter’s has graciously let us use the church grounds for 21 years.

Open to the public bring the kids!

No pets allowed for liability reasons. Service Dogs Allowed.

Come get the best fry bread and maple butter and best Indian Tacos ever!

We have some of the best food and craft vendors around.

Come watch all the dancers, especially the tiny tots.

Come see the Kalpulli Huitzillin dancers on Saturday night at 5:00ish.

Let us all dance together!

Friday night opening ceremonies at 5:05 we light the scared fire. People bring a dish to pass for the feast.

We honor all our veterans each year. We have handicap and elder assistance.

MC: Gary Charwood.

Arena Director: Allen Hardy.

Host Drum: Scotty Brown Eyes – Oyate Teca.

Co Host: Drum Midnight Express.

Men’s Head Dancer: David Carson.

Women’s Head Dancer: Lisa Bellanger.

Spiritual Adviser: Chris Mato Nunpa

Mendota Princess: Ameyalli Anderson.

Grand Entry on Sept 11, at 1:00 and 7:00 pm.

Grand entry on Sept 12, at 1:00 pm.

Feast on Sunday around 6:00ish pm.

All buttons are a $5.00 donation, helps pay for the Wacipi. Free admission NO ONE turned away!

No alcohol or drugs.

Bring lawn chairs, seating is limited.

Volunteers are needed, please call Maria McNamara at mmcnamara1954@gmail.com, cell 651-239-5163.

Donations are welcome please send a check to MMDTC.

Tribal Office is 1351 Sibley Memorial Hwy PO Box 50835 Mendota MN, 55150.

Email: mendotadakota@gmail.com

www.mendotadakota.com

Sponsored By: The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community.

Pidamaya – means Thank You in Dakota.

Tribal Chairwoman Sharon Lennartson.

Jason Delmont Vice Chairman / Secretary.

Joseph Lennartson: Treasurer

Gregory Standmark: Historian

Tommy Tomahawk and Jason Hop: Head Security!

Peace Pipeline Video

There is an ancient Lakota prophecy about a black snake that would slither across the land, desecrating the sacred sites and poisonings the water before destroying the earth.

Oil companies routinely build pipelines through Indigenous lands, often destroying sacred sites. How do non-natives feel when the shoe is on the other foot?

New geneaology information for Sharon Lennartson: Great-great-grandfather

Eustache Weshtash O mon dah gah ne ne en Bellecourt Great-great-grandfather

Hi Sharon,
We discovered new information for you in historical records.
Explore this week’s best Record Matches.

In your tree:

Eustache Weshtash O mon dah gah ne ne en Bellecourt
Great-great-grandfather
Birth: 1819 – Leech Lake Township, Cass, Minnesota, United States
Death: July 3 1894 – White Earth, Becker, Minnesota, United States
In FamilySearch Family Tree:

Eustache Weshtash O mon dah gah ne ne en Bellecourt
Birth: 1819 – Place
Death: Day  Month 1894 – Place
Parents: Names of both parents
Wife: Name of wife
Children: Margaret Mary Felix and names of 11 more children
Siblings: Nancy AH KEE LEN QUAECHE LANGO Ketchum and names of 7 more siblings

New information: father, mother, sibling(s) and child(ren).

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