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Hello all members we are not having our Christmas & Toy Drive this year because of Covid. The DuPuis is still close and will be until 2021.

Hello all members we are not having our Christmas & Toy Drive this year because of Covid. The DuPuis House is still closed and will be until 2021?

Even if we don’t get together, we are still a community and always will be no matter what happens. Stay strong be Dakota.

I have asked members if they would come, to any events, the majority said they would not come because of Covid.

Looks like Covid is spreading again scary times.

Stay safe, hope to see you next year.

We will continue to sent out monthly agendas and our finance’s to keep everyone in the loop.

We must maintain an office in Mendota.

We have had an office in Mendota for 26 years.

Been a community in Mendota for 130 years.

Thank you all for being a members.

Your Tribal Council

Sharon Lennartson Tribal –  Chairwoman

John LeClaire –  Vice Chair

Acting Greg Standmark –  Historian

Acting Joe Lennartson –  Treasurer

Acting Jason Delmont –  Secretary

This is an Example story. If your story is to long for you to write, like this one LOL, then just talk to the students when they call you with a few questions. We are only interviewing about 30 people. We only have until Dec for the student to complete for their grade.

Albert & Lilly LaClaire (LeClaire) had a farm at Prior Lake Indian Community in the early 1920 until 1942 when Albert died. Albert LeClaire birthday is May 12, 1885.

Lillian Felix LeClaire birthday is Sept 6, 1881 both born in Mendota MN.

We have the records of Albert & Lilly animals, the contract they signed, and what lots they had.

Clearly the oldest place on the Shakopee Reservation is Albert & Lilly’s LaClaire’s land and it is over 100 years old.

Albert used the name LaClaire, and LeClaire.

He was in a car accident on the Prior Lake Reservation. A cousin of Alberts was driving the car, they were all hurt but grandfather was hurt the most, they were all related. Looking for that article in a newspaper in the Prior Lake area in 1942.

No hospital would take him because he was Indian. He went to Pipestone Indian Hospital where he died a month later of a broken back. He suffered because Pipestone hospital did not have the right equipment or doctors for his injuries, all because of the color of his skin.

Lilly, grandmother was at least admitted in a Hospital in St Paul. The hospital would not take care of her, Lilly children had to take care of her, I get so mad when I heard what grandmother and grandfather went through.

I would like to find old hospital records for Albert in Pipestone and Lilly at a St Paul Hospital.

The Brewers were on that land for years after Albert died about 40 years.

I guess there were a few other families on that land, before the Brewer farmed it.

Everyone said grandfather died of a broken heart after Lilly died in 1940.

The LeClaire Felix family has never been credited or acknowledged for that house or shack, I feel it is time.

Shakopee used to have a video of the house in the Shakopee hotel’s rooms, I see they do not play that anymore.

I have tried for many years to get this resolved in a good and respectful way with no replies from the Shakopee tribe ever.

It should be easy to find your old property lots from the 1900’s.

I was sent a page in a land book on Prior Lake land.

I have seen documents of the land that grandfather farmed in a book that Susan Totenhagen showed us back in 1994 when she was doing enrollment.

When Susan realized that was her family farm now, she called her father and we all went to see my grandfather and grandmother’s old family house.

Beverly Scott my sister and I had felt grandmother and grandfather, we both stared to cry with sorrow as to what they went thru on the re

Shakopee put an ad in the paper looking for descendants back in 1994?

We went out there to apply for membership. Norman Crook, my mother Selisha Felix LeClaire’s first cousin told us we would get in, but that never happened. We are related to the Campbells and many others at Shakopee. We got a letter saying that we did not qualify to become a member.

I still have that letter, if you would like to see it, it was signed by Anita Campbell.

My mother Selisha LeClaire wanted to find the farmhouse where she lived and went to school, we could never find the house.

Grandfather lived in poverty with no water, electricity, they all lived in shacks back then.

Abraham Robinette, grandfather’s cousin, also lived there next to grandfather’s farm.

Also do you have documents of who attended the old red school house in 1900 – 1920?

Looking for records of the Little Red School House in Prior Lake in the late 1900.

My mother Selisha and her 4 siblings, Albert Jr, Ray, Selisha, Margaret, and Russell LeClaire.  went to school at the old little red school.

Until Lilly got land in Mendota, grandmother was tired of how her family was treated by the whites.

We are related to Chief Cetanwakanmani, Taoyatwduta from the 1862 uprising, Agathe Winona Red Woman Angelique DuPuis Renville, Mazasnawin Iron Woman Rosalie Freniere. I have documentation on everything I have talked about.

 The Descendants of our families have been in Mendota for 130 years, all Dakotas for thousands of years.

Thank You for your time, I hope you can give me a few answers that I and my family have been seeking or point me the right person.

Felix, LeClaire, Renville, DuPuis, Fernier,Turpin, Bellecourt, Robinette, Campbell, LaCroix, LaBatte

Newcomb, Perron, Lemay,

Leith, Sherry, Auge,

Faribault, Cermak, Crooks, DuFour.

Many of these families, not all are descendants of Chief Cetanwakanmani, or Chief Wabasha.

Many of these names are spell different ways.

Like LeClaire, LaClaire, Le Cleur, etc.

Sharon Lennartson Tribal Chairwoman for the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community.

Mitakuye Owasin (We Are All Related)

Wakiya Waste Win ( Good Thunder Woman )

Sharon Lennartson 651-452-4141 Tribal Office.

Website: Mendotadakota.com

Email: mendotadakota@gmail.com

Sharon Lennartson and the Faribault Dakota Project

Jeff Jarvis Faribault Dakota Project Mendota Dakota Sharon Lennartson Mdewakanton

Sharon Lennartson, tribal headwoman of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community, exploded with joy when she learned of the Faribault Dakota Project in the works.

“I yelled and screamed to my boys, “Somebody’s finally going to listen,’” Lennartson recalls. I wanted every bit to be a part of it.”

In partnership with the Faribault Heritage Preservation Commission, Rice County Historical Society, Faribault Mural Society and Santee Sioux Nation, the Mendota Dakota Community will offer historical insight to a project that will honor the Dakotas’ impact on Faribault’s early years.

Jeff Jarvis, a Faribault artist, designer and historian, connected with Lennartson after taking the lead on the project.

The idea for the memorial began several months ago when the commission became aware of a hand-drawn map that illustrated where Native Americans had lived on city namesake Alexander Faribault’s property after the Dakota Uprising. Faribault and Bishop Henry Whipple both wanted to protect the Dakota, who had helped Minnesota settlers during the U.S.-Dakota War, from being banished from the state.

Although the HPC initially envisioned land near the River Bend Nature Center as the location for the Faribault Dakota memorial, the new options include Peace Park, the Buckham Memorial Library Plaza and Heritage Park. The project is expected to begin in 2021.

Jarvis plans to combine written word, artwork and photography to depict the story of the Faribault Dakota on a three-panel interpretive sign. The panels will provide backstory of the Faribault Dakota community, including a history of the Wahpekute, partnerships that supported Native Americans in Faribault, maps, timelines, photos of tribe leader and Dakota verbiage with English translations.

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Sharon Lennartson, tribal headwoman of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community, exploded with joy when she learned of the Faribault Dakota Project in the works.

“I yelled and screamed to my boys, “Somebody’s finally going to listen,’” Lennartson recalls. I wanted every bit to be a part of it.”

In partnership with the Faribault Heritage Preservation Commission, Rice County Historical Society, Faribault Mural Society and Santee Sioux Nation, the Mendota Dakota Community will offer historical insight to a project that will honor the Dakotas’ impact on Faribault’s early years.

Jeff Jarvis, a Faribault artist, designer and historian, connected with Lennartson after taking the lead on the project.

The idea for the memorial began several months ago when the commission became aware of a hand-drawn map that illustrated where Native Americans had lived on city namesake Alexander Faribault’s property after the Dakota Uprising. Faribault and Bishop Henry Whipple both wanted to protect the Dakota, who had helped Minnesota settlers during the U.S.-Dakota War, from being banished from the state.

Although the HPC initially envisioned land near the River Bend Nature Center as the location for the Faribault Dakota memorial, the new options include Peace Park, the Buckham Memorial Library Plaza and Heritage Park. The project is expected to begin in 2021.

Jarvis plans to combine written word, artwork and photography to depict the story of the Faribault Dakota on a three-panel interpretive sign. The panels will provide backstory of the Faribault Dakota community, including a history of the Wahpekute, partnerships that supported Native Americans in Faribault, maps, timelines, photos of tribe leader and Dakota verbiage with English translations.

“That was the first time any of us at the office had seen [the map],” Lennartson said.

One of the houses on the map is labeled “LeClair,” which could refer to Lennartson’s great-grandfather, Wakon LeClair, who was Alexander Faribault’s helper. Lennartson explained “Wakon” means “holy,” and her great-grandfather was a medicine man or spiritual advisor. Her family tree also contains Faribaults and a common ancestor with Chief Little Crow, acclaimed leader of the Mdewakanton from 1846 to 1863.

Thinking about the project and what it means to have her people recognized, Lennartson recalls the tragic stories of her late grandparents, Lily and Albert LeClair. Her grandmother died at her Mendota home after the medical staff at a hospital failed to take proper care of her, and her grandfather, who broke his back in a car accident on the reservation, was turned away by another hospital because he was a Native American. He suffered for months because the hospital that did take him in didn’t have the proper medical equipment to treat his broken back, and Lennartson said he “died of a broken heart.”

Lennartson herself was not raised Native, but she and other Mdewakanton descendants started the Mendota Dakota Community nearly 25 years ago to return to their roots. Other members of the tribal council will have opportunities to share their input for the Faribault Dakota Project, and so will members of the Santee Sioux Nation and Lower Sioux Agency.

The Mendota Dakota people have been in Minnesota for thousands of years, Lennartson said, and Dakota ancestors and descendants have been in Mendota for over 130 years. She and the others in the Mendota Dakota community are related to Chief Cetanwakanmani, Chief Taoyatwduta from the 1862 war, and Chief Wabasha as well as Agathe Winona Red Woman Angelique DuPuis Renville and Mazasnawin Iron Woman Rosalie Freniere. Some of their ancestors are from Little Crow’s village, Kaposia.

“This is about as happy as I’ve ever been,” Lennartson said of the announcement of the Faribault Dakota Project. “It’s time … Just to know that different families are recognized and not forgotten — they’ll never be forgotten.”

This story written by MISTY SCHWAB misty.schwab@apgsomn.com

Sharon Lennartson Dakota Project Aug 2020 Mdewakanton Mendota.jpg

Pidamayaye to all who volunteered and came to the gathering.

Pidamayaye to all who volunteered and came to the gathering Sept 11-13-2020, instead of our 21 Pow Wow.
I want to thank Joe, Sean, my sons I could not do what I do without them. Tommy, Riley, Jason H, Earl, Josine, Jyni & Jeff and Jeff, Sam, Nick, Dan, Angela, John and Christine, Felicia and her niece, Yelvo, Kyra, Bill, Dean, Jason D and Isaac and others. Bill put up our teepee, I love seeing it so much. Good to see Barb and her husband. Steve and Nancy help and we used their camper for our office. Thank you Victoria my neighbor for making the delicious frybread. 2 sisters Lecelia and Romelle came from Mille Lacs to cook our frybread as volunteers. We did pay them and gave them gas money, they worked so hard for two days. Thank you to Tommy for recommending them. I hope to have them each year but hopefully pay them more. Mari Aalpulli and the Kalpulli Huitzill Aztec dancers were awesome as always.
 
Arvol Looking Horse and Paula, Gary, Jerry were there for Lisa, Mitch and Donna, and about 50 people to honor Lisa daughter ‘Binaishee-quaynce’ she passed away on Sept 17, 1019. Binaishee gave birth to a baby boy before she died. Lisa told me Mendota Pow Wow was Binaishee favberate Pow Wow what an honor.
 
I admire Lisa so much; she is a brave warrior woman for all.
 
It has been a very hard year for me, but we all pulled it off. We did not make much money after expenses, but it is not about the money, it is about getting together. We did not do so good on our fundraiser, none of our regular donations came in except the Pow Wow grant. Thank you Joy B and others for your donations. We all had a great time, with another successful event thanks to all the people who believed in what I believe in. Lots of work, but I would do it all over again for my people.
No more fundraisers until after covid-19. Thank you to all that cleaned up on Monday. I was too tired after running for 10 days straight, sometimes 14 hours a day. Once I got home more hours on the computer.
If I forgot to thank anyone, please know that all the members and friends that actually showed up and helped were greatly appreciated.
Pidamayaye!
Good Thunder Woman.
Love Sharon Lennartson

St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as Lily of the Mohawks was born 1656 and died April 17, 1680

She is a Catholic saint who was an Algonquin–Mohawk laywoman. Born in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon, on the south side of the Mohawk River in present-day New York State, she contracted smallpox in an epidemic; her family died and her face was scarred. She converted to Catholicism at age nineteen, when she was renamed Kateri, and baptized in honor of Catherine of Siena. Refusing to marry, she left her village and moved for the remaining five years of her life to the Jesuit mission village of Kahnawake, south of Montreal on the St. Lawrence River in New France, now Canada.

Tekakwitha took a vow of perpetual virginity. Upon her death at the age of 24, witnesses said that minutes later her scars vanished and her face appeared radiant and beautiful. Known for her virtue of chastity and mortification of the flesh, as well as being shunned by some of her tribe for her religious conversion to Catholicism, she is the fourth Native American to be venerated in the Catholic Church and the first to be canonized.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is often praised as the first Native American saint, but what is more remarkable is just how quickly she achieved sanctity. Normally sainthood is the process of twenty, thirty even forty years and yet, within four years of her baptism, St. Kateri had become a saint. What was the secret to sanctity that had St. Kateri found?

St. Kateri was born to a Christian mother of the Algonquin tribe and to a non-Christian father of the Mohawks. In 1660, when she was four, she tragically lost both of her parents and her little brother in a small pox epidemic. Although she survived smallpox herself, her eyesight was forever impaired and her face was scarred. She would later thank God for this, regarding it as a special grace that, receiving little attention, she was left to devote herself more freely to God.

Although St. Kateri’s mother had died before Kateri could be baptized, her good mother died ardently praying that God would provide for her child. St. Kateri was then raised by an uncle, the chief of the Turtle Clan, who was very wary of Christians and often opposed to them. However, there was some friendly contact with missionaries and at age 18 she started receiving instructions in the faith. Finally, her uncle reluctantly consented to her conversion and on Easter Sunday in 1676, she was baptized, taking the name Kateri, after St. Catherine of Siena.

Although her uncle allowed her to convert, St. Kateri still had to face the hostility of her own tribe and she suffered greatly from them. They simply could not understand why she refused to work on Sundays, but since she would not work on Sundays, she would not eat on Sundays. They would regularly hide all the food and leave her with nothing. Some would throw stones at her and insult her she would walk to the chapel. On one occasion, her uncle even sent a warrior to frighten her, as he pretended to attack her with a hatchet.

Eventually, St. Kateri began to fear for her life and fled to the mission of St. Francis Xavier, two hundred miles north, in Canada. Her village priest instructed her to deliver a letter for him, and when the missionaries at St. Francis Xavier opened it, the letter read, “I am sending you a treasure, guard it well!”

At the mission in Canada, her fellow Christians were devout, but St. Kateri soon distinguished herself by her great fervor, particularly in her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Her great love for the Blessed Sacrament was largely responsible for her swift rise to sanctity. St. Kateri attended two masses every day and she was always the first one at the chapel. Arriving at four in the morning, she would stand outside and pray until the chapel opened, even during the winter. She would visit the Blessed Sacrament several times per day and would always be the last one to leave at night.

The fruit of her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament led St. Kateri to have a great purity of heart. “Her chastity was the most beautiful flower in her crown,” said her first biographer, Fr. Claude Chauchetière (source #5). She preserved such extraordinary purity through constant mortification of the senses and through devotion to the Blessed Virgin. On the feast of the Annunciation in 1679, St. Kateri joyfully made a private vow of perpetual virginity and asked Mary to accept her as a daughter.

Only a year after making her vow, she became extremely ill, possibly having caught pneumonia. On April 17, during Holy Week, St. Kateri Tekakwitha passed away at age 23. Those who assisted at her death were privileged to witness a miracle, the first of many that would be attributed to her. Although St. Kateri’s face had been marked by smallpox her whole life, as her soul ascended to its heavenly glory, her skin became clear and radiant. With the apostle St. Paul, she could truly exclaim, “I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

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