The most important featured news and articles from MMDC
You would be happy to see where we are now. You would be proud of us.
Say hi to our ancestor in the sprit world.
Love auntie Sharon, Good Thunder Woman.
Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States, (Minnesota)|
|Dakota, American English|
Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community is a Dakota community centered in Mendota, Minnesota. The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community, colloquially known as MMDTC, is an organization who works to continue Dakota cultural practices and tribal organization. Officially formed in 1997, the MMDTC has sought to be a federally recognized tribe by the US Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as offering community activities such as Pow Wows, Dakota language and culture classes, and partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society.
The Dakota people are the original inhabitants of the land that is now known as Minnesota, specifically centered around the modern day Twin Cities, Mille Lacs Lake, and Minnesota River Valley. The name “Minnesota” comes from the Dakota phrase “Mni Sota,” which was used as the name for the Minnesota River and meant “cloudy water,” which was then used by settlers as the name for the entire state. The Minnesota River has a strong cultural significance for the Dakota people as the place where it joins the Mississippi River, in St. Paul, Minnesota, is known as Mdote and holds an island known as Wakan Tanka, which is considered the place that Dakota people were created according to their spirituality. This is close to other important sites to the Dakota people, including Pilot Knob and Coldwater Springs.
Before American colonists had made contact with them, Dakota people had lost much of their northern lands in wars with the Ojibwe people, who themselves had been forced westward in conflicts with colonists and had therefore acquired the advantage of guns and ammunition before the Dakota. The first official contact between the Dakota and the United States Government was the 1805 Pike’s Treaty, in which the U.S. was able to establish a military fortress, Fort Snelling, and the land that would later comprise the modern Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro area. This meant the loss of the area around Mdote and Wakan Tanka, and so the heart of the Dakota land. Many treaties were later signed with the U.S., sequestering the Dakota people into smaller plots of land with each successive treaty, culminating in the conflict known as the U.S.-Dakota War.
U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
The U.S. Dakota war was incited when U.S. officials refused to provide promised food items and goods, leading to widespread starvation and death within the Dakota reservations, particularly along the Minnesota River. Dakota men therefore took up arms against the white settlers around them for their promised food and security, and ultimately their freedom from the colonists. A main figure in this conflict was Taoyateduta (Little Crow), a Dakota chief who greatly assisted in the Dakota resistance and whose descendants figure within the MMDTC. The Dakota were ultimately defeated by the white Minnesotans and noncombatants were then placed in a concentration camp near Fort Snelling, on Wakan Tanka. After trials were held against those Dakota people who participated in the war, President Abraham Lincoln ordered the execution of 38 Dakota men in Mankato, the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Following this, the remainder of the Dakota in the Fort Snelling camp were ordered into exile outside of the state of Minnesota.
The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal community was officially formed in 1997 in Mendota, Minnesota, the “center of the universe” according to the ancestors of the Dakota. Membership of the tribal community is comprised mostly of those who are descended from “mixed-blood” families, or those who are from both Dakota and White ancestry. After the U.S.-Dakota War, these families assisted in trying to drive out the Dakota combatants along with other Minnesotans, and so were able to maintain residence near Minneapolis and St. Paul in the towns of Mendota and Lilydale. This allowed them to live near Mdote and Wakan Tanka, and their descendants have retained this space through today.
Highway 55 Re-Route
Shortly after the formation of the MMDTC, the community was a prominent body in the protest of the re-routing of Highway 55, whose proposed route threatened important Dakota sites such as Coldwater Springs. The Mendota community, along with the American Indian Movement and Earth First!, fought for the Minnesota Department of Transportation to adjust their plans in order to preserve these spaces. After years of protesting, in which the protesters faced violent police raids and winter conditions, and court proceedings, MNDOT consented to install a lining that would protect the water source of the spring, thereby allowing construction of the highway while also protecting the natural habitat.
The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community has sought federal recognition since its formation in 1997. Initially denied, the community is still fighting for the right to be acknowledged its sovereignty by the U.S. government. The Mendota community is descended from prominent Dakota chiefs, particularly Little Crow, and so is working to be seen as a federally recognized tribe, with the powers and rights that comes with, as it has lineage that connects it to not only Dakota families, but famous ones at that.
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The cultural practices of the Mendota Community looks much the same as the broader Dakota peoples, carried down generation by generation from pre-colonial times. The Mendota Community have the distinction of “Keepers of the Eastern Gate,” which is the concept that there are tribes at each cardinal direction that defend the Dakota people as a whole. The MMDTC offers monthly tribal meetings, in which the community comes together to make decisions on how they will operate and the activities they will be doing. There is also a yearly Pow Wow around September in which the community and guests celebrate the earth, their ancestors, spirits, and their cultural heritage. The Mendota Community offers classes that educate on the Dakota language, as well as classes on cultural activities such as the making of food. These practices allow for the community to uphold the beliefs and actions of their ancestors, as well as to educate others and to continue these practices for years to come.
- Norfleet, Nicole. “Mendota Dakota still in limbo”. startribune.com. StarTribune. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
- “ABOUT”. Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community. 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
- “Bdote Memory Map”. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
- Westerman, Gwen. (2012). Mni sota makoce : the land of the Dakota. Minnesota Historical Society Press. ISBN 978-0-87351-869-7. OCLC 852222081.
- Radin, P (1914). “On Ojibwa work in southeastern Ontario, 1912”.
- “The Treaty Story”. www.mnhs.org. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
- “The US-Dakota War of 1862”. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
- “US-Dakota War of 1862”. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
- “ANCESTORS”. Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community. 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
The 1830 Treaty of Prairie du Chien set aside 320,000 acres of potentially valuable land west of Lake Pepin for so-called “half-breed” members of the Dakota nation. The move set off a series of events that would enrich a number of early Minnesotans—none of them of Native American heritage.
In 1830, United States government officials traveled to Prairie du Chien, in what later became Wisconsin, a former French Canadian fur post on the Mississippi River. They hoped to negotiate peace among the Dakota, Sac, and Ho-Chunk people in the region. The resulting treaty would also extend the government’s influence into the vast northwestern frontier then controlled by Native Americans.
Part of the treaty allowed the Dakota to set aside a parcel of land for mixed-race relatives, known in the vernacular of the day as “half breeds.” White traders, trappers and other Caucasians in the region often had Dakota or mixed-race wives. Children from these unions would be among those benefiting from this land reserve, which became known as the “Half-Breed Tract.”
Article 9 of the treaty described it as a parcel of land west of Lake Pepin. The land remained largely unoccupied for two decades. However, the signing of US–Dakota land treaties in 1851 brought eager settler-colonists rushing into Minnesota Territory to claim Indigenous lands, even before the agreement had been ratified. The new arrivals staked out land, including some in the tract, and began improving their holdings. Then, they waited for the official government survey and land sale. Their actions placed the Half-Breed Tract in limbo. Traders worked to get their mixed race relatives a $150,000 cash settlement in exchange for their tract rights, but failed.
Henry Rice, a Minnesota territorial delegate to the US Senate, hadn’t forgotten the Half-Breed Tract. In July 1854, he convinced the Senate to offer the mixed-race claimants a deal. Each could get up to 640 acres of unsurveyed federal lands by giving up their claim to the Half-Breed Tract. Those eligible would receive “exchanging scrip,” certificates that could be used to buy land.
In the spring of 1857, scrip finally arrived in Minnesota and was distributed at Wabasha, Red Wing, and other places near the tract. Eligible adults and legal guardians of the qualified received government paper in varying amounts. Although the sale of scrip was supposedly prohibited, land speculators bought as much of it as they could. Typically, it was cheap.
In the Red Wing area, some scrip holders went to the US Land Office and presented paper for tract land already occupied by settlers. These buyers asserted that the claims of the two hundred occupiers who had moved in to the Half-Breed Tract before the treaty was ratified were not valid. With law enforcement weak in Minnesota Territory, however, angry settlers took control of the situation. They set up a committee of vigilance to protect themselves and the land they claimed. Two armed guards stood watch at the land office to keep scrip holders away.
The vigilantes’ intimidation worked. They forced rival claimants to return to the land office and take back their scrip. The federal government resolved the dangerous situation in May 1858. As part of the deal, the settlers who illegally occupied acreage in the tract in 1851 and 1852 received the rights to the land they had been living on.
The story of the Half-Breed Tract scrip was not over. Following the US-Dakota War of 1862, speculators worked to get the scrip from mixed bloods still holding it. These valuable papers could be exchanged for lands anywhere in the public domain. That included most of the US-controlled lands west of the Mississippi River.
Minnesota “half-breed” scrip bought valuable land around Carson City, Nevada, during the 1860s Comstock silver rush. It was used to acquire stands of timber near Lake Tahoe. In 1865, a Minnesota speculator working with California colleagues used scrip to purchase nine thousand acres of California redwood trees at $5 per acre, plus half the profits after sale. In the 1880s, scrip was used to claim unsurveyed federal land in Minnesota’s northern iron ore district. Mining had begun there in 1884.
For those savvy enough to buy it—unscrupulously, in most cases—Minnesota’s “half-breed” scrip produced breathtaking profits.
- RELATED RESOURCES
Alexis Bailly Papers, 1821–1868
Manuscript Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul
Description: Microfilm correspondence and financial records of Bailly, an American Fur Company agent at Mendota, 1820–1835, and later at Wabasha, giving details of trade with the Dakota.
Curtiss-Wedge, Franklyn. History of Goodhue County, Minnesota. Chicago: H.C. Cooper, Jr., 1909.
Folwell, William Watts, “Sioux Half-Breed Scrip, appendix 11.” In A History of Minnesota, vol. 1. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1956 edition.
Gates, Paul W. A History of Public Land Law Development. New York: Arno Press, 1979.
Hancock, Joseph Wood. Goodhue County, Minnesota Past and Present. Red Wing, MN: Red Wing Printing Co., 1893.
History of Goodhue County. Red Wing, MN: Wood, Alley & Co., 1878.
Johnson, Frederick L. Goodhue County, Minnesota: A Narrative History. Red Wing, MN: Goodhue County Historical Society, 2000.
Meyer, Roy W. History of the Santee Sioux. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1967.
———. “The Red Wing Indian Village.” Unpublished manuscript. Red Wing, MN: Goodhue County Historical Society Collections, 1963.
Millikan, William. “The Great Treasure of the Fort Snelling Prison Camp.” Minnesota History 62, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 4–15. http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/62/v62i01p004-017.pdf
Northwest Missions Manuscripts and Index, 1766–1926.
Manuscript Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.
Description: Typed transcripts and negative photocopies of letters, diaries, church records, and articles pertaining to Protestant and Catholic missions to the Ojibwe and Dakota in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Dakota Territory, and neighboring areas in Canada (1810-1896); and a card index to these and other items relating to northwest missions (1766-1926). Compiled by Grace Lee Nute.
Pond, Samuel W. The Dakotas or Sioux in Minnesota as they were in 1834. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, reprint, 1986.
Riggs, Stephen R. “Dakota Portraits.” Minnesota History Bulletin 2 (November 1918): 481–568.
Register of Sioux Half-Breed Scrip, 1857–1861
United States, Red Wing Land District
State Archives Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul
Description: An abstract of land entries made in the Red Wing district with Sioux half-breed scrip, issued to mixed-race Dakota to extinguish their title to land originally reserved to them by the Treaty of Prairie du Chien.
Office of Indian Affairs: Records Related to Mixed Blood Claimants under the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, 1855–1856
Manuscript Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul
Description: Records related to claims made by mixed blood Dakota under the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, 1830. See “Roll of Mixed Blood Claimants, 1856.”
Sioux Lands or Reservation in Minnesota Territory. House Report Doc. No. 138, 33rd Cong., 1st Sess. (1854).
Oklahoma State University Library Electronic Publishing Center. Treaty of Prairie du Chien, 1830.
Walker Thomas, “Memories of Early Life and Development of Minnesota.” Minnesota Historical Society Collections 15 (1915): 463.
Please email me only firstname.lastname@example.org, so much easier to keep tract, then a text or on facebook.
Appreciate your help. Love Sharon
10th Generations to Cetanwakanmami Little Crow. Many of our members come from Cetanwakanmami. Also here is a picture of Cetanwakanmami that was found on familysearch.com. Who made this document back in 1990 for my family. Of the seven Dakota leaders present at the negotiations, only Cetan Wakuwa Mani (Le Petit Corbeau) and Wanyaga Inazin (Way-Aga-Enagee) would sign the treaty. Treaty of 1804.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Carlise Indian Industrial School (closed for years). Will have a booth at our Wacipi.
Mendota is so honored to have the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women will have a booth at our Wacipi.
Carlise Indian Industrial School will have a booth. The staff is coming from Pennsylvania to spend 2 days with us.
We are so proud to have both of them coming to our Wacipi and have a booth.
Our regulars that have a booth each year. Nice to start hearing from you.
Can’t wait for the Wacipi on Sept 10-11-12-21.
Attention to all Tribes. I welcome you with a handshake and a good heart. Since we are all related, I’m asking for your help. Many of the Dakota tribes are not helping the Mendota Community WHY. How can we change that? As we proud Dakota and Ojibwe, Fox and others nations of people. We should be helping each other. Mendota tribal council and others are volunteers no one get paid, but one person. The Mendota Mdewakanton Tribal Community is asking for your help to get us a community center. Our current office has mold again. I will be 75 on Aug 28, I pray this happens by my birthday or this year. We need to move. The owner will be selling the building at some point. Mendota needs their own place after struggling for 26 years now is the time. Please check out our website at (mendotadakota.com) to learn more about the Mendota Community and our members I really believed that. Mendota is our ancestral homeland. We are direct descendants we are in Minnesota. The LeClaires can show 10 generations to Chief Cetanwakanmani, also to Chief Wabasha. The families we all related to Felix, LeClaire, Renville, DuPuis, Fernier,Turpin, Bellecourt, Robinette, Campbell, Lemay, LaCroix, LaBatte,
Newcomb, Perron, Leith, Sherry, Auge, Faribault, Cermak, Crooks, DuFour.
We also need donations for our 21 Wacipi / Pow Wow on Sept 11-12-2021. WE NEED TO DANCE.!!!!
Sincerely Sharon Lennartson Tribal Chairwoman and the tribal council. Please email us at email@example.com. Please call the office at 651-452-4141.
Looking for woman getting together in the 1960 – 1973 at the Mendota FVW. List of families living to Mendota from 1900.
Does anyone remember woman in Mendota getting together at the VFW in the1966 or later? My mother Selisha LeClaire wanted to see all her relatives. I would drive mom here once a month. They got togethers in the lower level.
We are also looking for any Native families living in Mendota from 1900 or before with the Mendota City Council.
Thank you Sharon Lennartson Tribe Chairwoman.
firstname.lastname@example.org email or tribal office 651-452-4141. Website mendotadakota.com
To my surprise I found my family story at the Fairbault Goverment Center on there website, I just typed in LeClaires. on 4-29-21. Your story needs to be told!. I have been asking for stories for years from the rest of the members. Love Sharon. ALBERT AND LILLIE (FELIX) LECLAIRE. THE FAMILY OF ALBERT AND LILLIE LECLAIRE Albert LeClaire, a Mdewakanton Dakota Indian, was 1st of seven children. He was born on May 12, 1885 in Mendota, Minnesota. His parents were Frederick LeClaire and Celina Robinette LeClaire. Frederick's parents were Jean-Baptiste Octave (Wakon) LeClerc (LeClaire) and Marguerite Dupuis. Octave came to Mendota with his brother Phillip in 1848. Octave and Marguerite had 12 children born between 1858 and 1884. All the children were baptized in Mendota. They resided in Mendota until the 1862 Uprising. After the uprising, they camped on land belonging to Alexander Faribault. They could not stay in Mendota because all the Dakota Indians were forced out of the state and sent to Crow Creek, South Dakota. They could not go to Crow Creek, because they had helped the white settlers. "Only Faribault's reputation in the city named for him enabled him to so defy public opinion as to harbor members of the hated Indian race on his property. As it was, he was threatened and had to publish in the local newspaper, the Central Republican Newspaper on June 10, 1863, a detailed statement identifying the Indians who were living on his land. "They lived in extreme poverty, preserved from starvation only by the charity of their white friends. "They had no money, and their attempts to raise crops were largely unsuccessful. They dug and sold ginseng, until the land was so dug over that several years would be required for the ginseng to recover. They were not allowed to dig on other people's land." They lived there for 4 years, along with the other "friendlies" who had helped the white settlers during the uprising. Land records located by Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community members put them back in Mendota in 1883, and copies of land transactions between Octave and others date from then until 1887. Octave's wife Marguerite was the daughter of Hypolite Dupuis and Angelique Renville. Hypolite Dupuis was listed on the 1849 census of Mendota. He was employed by Henry Sibley, who was a partner in the American Fur Company. He served as the first County Treasurer. He built a home in Mendota in 1856. The Dupuis House was purchased by the Minnesota Daughters of the American Revolution in 1924 to preserve the rich history of the beginning of Minnesota. It was remodeled and opened as a Tea House in 1928 The Tea House has since closed. It is currently being run by the Minnesota Historical Society. It is open for tours, along with the Sibley and Faribault homes from May to September. Angelique Renville was the daughter of Joseph Renville and Mary, a sister of Big Thunder, the father of Little Crow (Taoyataduta). Mary was Little Crow's aunt. Angelique Renville Dupuis was a signer of the Treaty with the Traverse Des Sioux Bands of 1841, as was Joseph Renville. Celina Robinette's parents were Vanosse Robinette and Mathilde LaBatte. Mathilde LaBatte's father, Francois LaBatte was one of the first killed in the 1862 uprising. Celina and Frederick LeClaire were married on June 23, 1880 in St. Peter's Church in Mendota. Lillian Felix was born on September 6, 1881 in Mendota. She was baptized there at St. Peter's church on Sept. 12, 1881. She was sixth of seven children. Her parents were Peter Felix Jr. and Margaret Bellecourt. Peter Felix Jr. was the son of Peter Felix Sr. and Rosalie Frenier (Mazasnawin-Iron Woman). In 1838 a Power of Attorney from Peter Felix Sr. was given to General Henry Sibley for Rosalie and daughter Sophie, to be sure they received treaty money. Rosalie Frenier signed the Treaty with the Traverse Des Sioux Bands of 1841. Lillie attended Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania from 1897 to 1904. She was enrolled at Santee, Nebraska, although she never lived there. Lillie married Albert LeClaire on July 12, 1904 in Hastings, Minnesota. They resided in Mendota after their marriage. In 1908, she wrote to the Department of Indian Affairs asking for a patent for premises she owned in Nebraska, so she could sell it and buy a home in Mendota. Albert and Lillie lived in Mendota until about 1919, when they started farming at the Prior Lake Indian Community. Three of their children, Oliver Albert LeClaire, Selisha Lillian LeClaire and Raymond Sylvester LeClaire were born in Mendota. Margaret Celina LeClaire and Russell Francis LaClaire were born in Shakopee. Because of the treatment the older children received at school in Shakopee (called half-breeds -dirty Indians-etc) , Lillie moved back to Mendota, while Albert stayed and farmed at Prior Lake with his son Russell. Albert and Lillie and their children can be found on the Pipestone Indian Census in 1937 and also 1940. Albert and his parents and siblings are also listed on the 1899 Census of Mdewakanton Sioux of Minnesota done by James McLaughlin. Albert applied for additional land at Prior Lake in 1937. J.W. Balmer, Superintendent of the Pipestone Indian School requested this for him. Two additional plots of land were assigned to him on November 9, 1937. This land had been abandoned by George and Meredith Crooks. He also applied for and received a Planned Productive Loan in 1939. Lillian Felix LeClaire died on August 30, 1940 at the age of 58 at West Side General Hospital. Her daughter Margaret LeClaire Nordin was in attendance. Margaret tells a story that when her mother died, a candle by her bed went out and the glass broke, which scared the woman who was in the next bed. Albert LeClaire was injured in a car accident by his farm in Prior Lake. The hospital in Shakopee refused to treat him because he was an Indian. They had to send to Pipestone, Minnesota for an ambulance to come and get him and take him to the Indian Hospital there. This happened in December of 1941, and because of the delay in treatment, Albert passed away in Pipestone on January 28, 1942 at the age of 56. Albert's death was hastened by discrimination. The five children of Albert and Lillian lived in poverty both at Prior Lake and Mendota. They were the object of discrimination and ridicule from the whites and at school. It is little wonder that after Albert's death, not one of them wanted to work and live on the farm. The assignment was abandoned and was eventually reassigned. It is clear that Albert and Lillian and their family were some of the original Mdewakanton Prior Lake Indian Community residents. At one time Albert's farm was in excess of 50 acres; a substantial part of the original reservation. The barn that was built by Albert still stands on that land today, the only remnant of the early years there. Albert and Lillie's children are cousins of Norman Crooks (deceased) and Amos Crooks Jr., enrolled members of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and have maintained contact throughout the years to the present. The majority of the ancestors of Albert and Lillian LeClaire are buried in St. Peter's Cemetery in Mendota. Many were baptized and married there as well. The following history was written by Lillian Rose Brown Anderson, granddaughter of Albert and Lillian LeClaire and daughter of Selisha LeClaire and Morris Brown: I, Lillian Rose Anderson, nee: Brown, was born in Mendota on September 8, 1934, at home. My grandmother, Lillian LeClaire was there for my mother. I was born breech. She had to assist the Doctor. I didn't breath for a few minutes--yes-minutes (as told to me). My grandmother hit my behind and then my back and something flew out of me and I started to cry. My mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, and Great Aunt Jennie LaCroix all applauded, cried, laughed, hugged, said prayers, rejoiced. I was born at 8:30 p.m. My father, grandfather and uncles wore a path around the house waiting for me to appear--their first child and grandchild. The house I was born in was built by my father, Morris Brown and grandfather, Albert LeClaire and uncle and cousins. Shortly after my birth the house was put on skids and moved by a team of horses to where it sits today. It has been added onto by the new owners. My Aunt Margaret and her husband Reuben Nordin bought my grandparent's house in Mendota. They tore it down and built a new house farther back on the property. My cousin Clarice Gombold (nee Nordin) bought the house from them. She sold it to her sister, Roxanne Hop, who still lives there today. Most all the people in Mendota are related and most all the houses there were there when I was a child. We all went to St. Peter's church, was the first Catholic church in the territory. I attended all weddings, baptisms and most all funerals there. All my ancestors are buried at Mendota. In fact, the grave yard was just up the hill behind our home. There was a time when the family was responsible for keeping the grave yard clean. We all did it together. Our grandparents also had a farm at Shakopee. The school we attended in Mendota was the same school my mom went to. It still survives. It was sold to a private company because the village of Mendota couldn't pay the taxes. It was moved a block or so away. I feel bad about this. I wish we could get it back and make a museum for all to see. It is probably one of the last original 2 room school houses left. When I went to the school it was so wonderful because I knew everybody. We were like a big family of sisters and brothers. Every mother in Mendota watched out for all the children. I'd hear someone say "Dolly" (my nickname), your mom wants you to go home." We had such respect for all the people. It was Mrs. or Mr., Auntie, Uncle, Grandfather, Grandmother, Mother, Father. I didnâ€™t know people had first names. We moved from Mendota (Mom didn't want to move) in 1944. We had to because Dad got a job in Minneapolis. He had to walk the Mendota Bridge both ways (we didn't have a car). Then he had to take the streetcar to 15th Ave. and 6th St. It was the only job he could get. (A bartender) Dad only went to the 4th grade. My father was Irish, English and German. So you see, with 4 children to feed, we had to move out of Mendota because there wasnâ€™t any employment there, so we sold our family home and moved to Minneapolis. We hated it!!! We went back to Mendota on the streetcar and walked the Mendota Bridge offer to see our relatives and friends. I always walked past our old home and cried! The Nordins, Robinettes, LeClaires, LaCroix's all lived there. I always wished I could go into my family home and stay there, but of course it wasn't ours anymore. I'd cry all the way back to Minneapolis. Mom had tears, my sister Beverly and brothers Morris and Bob were pretty little so I don't know how they felt at the time. I know now they felt the same way about Mendota. About my grandparents, Albert and Lillian LeClaire--they were the salt of the earth, respected and loved by all. My grandmother Lillian was at the birth of many Mendota babies. She raised 5 kids. She was a wonderful person. I spent many many days and nights with her and grandfather. She used to feed anyone who knocked at the door, mostly transients. The railroad tracks were just across the highway in Mendota. They would knock on the door and ask for food. She'd give them a meal and they'd do work around the yard. I think all the hobos on that railroad line knew about Lillian LeClaire, the Angel of Mendota. You were pretty sure of a meal at her door. We used to go to the farm when Grandmother was out there. She preferred to stay in her home in Mendota. She had a pickle keg at the farm outside the door and we kids would always dive into it. Most all my cousins remember the pickle jar. My cousins, Uncle Albert's children were living with Grandmother and Grandfather at Mendota. We were always together--there and at the farm. Mendota was a wonderful place to grow up. Everyone was either related by blood or by marriage. We knew everybody and everybody knew us. Our houses didn't have numbers on them. Everybody knew where your house was. You had to go to the only grocery store (Mr. Newhouses) for the mail. We all had mail boxes there. We walked all over (no cars). We'd meet to get the mail and before you knew it, half the town was either in the store or outside just visiting. I wish I could go back there and buy my ancestral home. Our mother and uncles were treated very badly as children. My mother was the most beautiful curly haired little girl ever, and she and my uncles were called "dirty Indians". That was at Shakopee School, so Grandmother LeClaire took them back to Mendota, where she grew up. Our family, the LeClaires go back to the early 1800's in Mendota. We are Mdewakanton!
Our Seven Generations and Seventh Fire prophecies tell us we are in the time when we have a choice between two paths. One path is well worn, scorched and leads to our destruction. The other path is new, green and leads to Mino-Bimaadiziwin (the good life). We must choose to walk the new path.
We feel we need to move as we have been exposed to mold again at the office.
I put in 50 weeks with no pay, we are all volunteers. I will not go to the office. So I work at home.
I do have a respiratory problem for years.
We are a very small community, no more then 2 or 3 people will at the office volunteering.
There will be our membership meeting once a month.
There has been no meetings since covid.
1000 square ft or more would be great.
Are current rent is $500.00 a month for an office we can not use.
We can afford $500.00 to $700.00?
If you cannot help us, do you know of anyone who can?
That would be a nice tax write off.
Helping a community that is struggling.
We have been a community for 26 years and still don’t have our own community center.
Here is our website mendotadakota.com
Please help your local Native American Community.
Thank you Mendota Tribal Council – Tribal Office 651-452-4141
Here is how you can donate, from your estate you can make a donation to Mendota to help us get land for a Community Center Community.
If you don’t have family for your estate. Mendota would be happy to use the money to get Land we so desperately need. And help out your local Native Community. The Mendota Tribal Council.
SOUTH ROBERT STREET
Plaza TV & Appliance on Robert Street in Saint Paul, MN 55511.
Thank You to Dave Motz and the South Roberts Street Business Association for you generous donation for the last 7 years. Dave has been a kind and supporting friend to the Mendota Community. Donations have been $500.00 for the last 5 years. Two years ago we received $1,000.00.
Please help local business’s because because of covid.
If you need a T.V. or any Appliance, call Dave at his store. Tell them Sharon sent you or told you about your services.
If you mention MendotaDakota you will get a good warranty FREE.
West St. Paul Store
946 South Robert Street
West St. Paul, MN 5511
Largest Family Owned TV & Appliance Dealer in Minnesota since 1953!
Very sad about another person getting shot.
Prayers to the families. Sharon
Crafters pay $75.00 if paid by July 1, after that is $95 for the whole weekend. Food vendors pay $100 if paid by July 1, after that is $125 for the whole weekend. You can set up after 4 on Friday Sept 10, and sell as late as you want on Sunday Sept 12. Let other vendors know about us. Ask them to email us. NO Indian Tacos or Frybread vendors, only we will sell them. Other foods are okay. Please have your shots for covid, for the safety of everyone involved.
We are a small traditional Wacipi – pow wow. We average over 5,000 visitors. We pay $25.00 per grand entry as a thank you for coming to our Wacipi. We are not a competition, we dance to dance. We may have a couple special dances. Watch for or flyer in a week or so on facebook and our website – www.mendotadakota.com. This is our 21st Wacipi. Donations are needed as we did not get our grant this year. Everyone is welcome!!
With every button sold you will get a piece of Jewelry until we run out.
Sharon is donating most of the jewelry she has collected over the years. Anyone who wants to donate jewelry you never use, please contact Sharon.
VENDOR APPLICATION: https://mendotadakota.com/mn/downloads/
Sharon Lennartson Tribal Chairwoman, Tribal Office 651-452-4141.
Greg Strandmark Historian
Jason Delmont Vice Chairman & Secretary
Joseph Lennartson Treasurer
And the Wacipi Committee
Rice County Historical Society
Language and Federal Recognition Committee are working hard to get Land and Federal Recognition. We have a wonderful Committee. Mendota is so thankful, we have all the people helping us, what an honor.
Mendota Tribal Council.
STOP LINE 3
The Canadian Enbridge dirty tar sands pipeline across northern Minnesota is halfway completed.
–retard efforts to mitigate climate change for a generation or more
–halt investments into clean, renewable energy
–affect citizens’ lung and heart health, especially for the young and elderly
–send fuel profits out of America to Canada.
You only need to make one argument. Emails to our national decision-makers will be counted more than read.
Pres. Biden can stop construction or cancel use of LINE 3 as he did with the already completed Keystone XL pipeline.
Please send a quick email.
- Email your opposition to LINE 3 to Pres. Biden at: www.whitehouse.gov/contact.
- Urge newly confirmed Laguna Pueblo Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to speak out, at email@example.com.
To see photographs of the LINE 3 water protectors camp where the Canadian fossil fuel corporation plans to tunnel UNDER the Mississippi River go to https://riseuptimes.org/2021/03/24/85369.