To get information out quickly, on very important topic.
Three Representatives from Dickinson / Carlise Indian Industrial School website. Will be at our Wacipi what an honor.
So honored to have them come from Pennsylvania. Barbara Landis, Susan Rose, and Jim Gerencser.
Updates: Here are a few things I wanted to update for you all.
Thank you to everyone involved in the Wacipi. We are all family!!!! There is a lot of hard work for months, thank you Joe for helping so much. Thank you security and volunteers.
I have talked to Barbara from Carlisle for many years about Lilly Felix, my grandmother. Lilly is grandmother to many others all my cousins.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women will also have a booth.
Kalpulli dancers will be around 5:30ish. Powerful & Amazing Dancers.
We have new vendors coming from all over the usa. How exciting.
Thank you to all our new and regular volunteers. Can wait to see all the vendors.
Professor Mike Kline from St Thomas University’s book about us will be published soon. We will also be honoring them at the Wacipi.
Can not wait to see everyone.
I will post more updates as then come. Love Sharon
Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribe to again seek federal recognition.
Article by Jenna Kunze. Aug 2nd, 2021
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.
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.”
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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Wacipi Notes that Sharon has done for our 21st Wacipi Sept 7 – 13.
- I ask Star Tribune to advertise our Wacipi. Done
- Pioneer Press too. Done
- We got a $5,000 donations, and a $350.00. Done
- Joe got another grant for panels for pow wow for $2,5000, we have not received the check yet. Done
- We will use square or something like that for Visa Cards. Done
- Sharon must approve everything first at the Wacipi. Done
- Tommy and Jason Hop only oversee the Wacipi Security. Done
- Marie will oversee all volunteers. Done
- Mountain Iron Buhl School Indian Education Community ED. Stary Gallus may bring kids down for Wacipi? They have to come while classes are in session, not over the summer. Done
- Shawn film Radio.
- Find Radio and T.V stations to advertise. Done
- Covid precautions? Done
- Anita Gate has some vegetables. Done
- We need lots of vegetables. Who can get more vegetable? Done
- Keep everything in boxes they came in for storage in pods. KEEP BOXES
- Wi-fi for Carlisle Indian School 3 people coming from Pennsylvania we will provide everything for them, big canopy at least two and 2 maybe 3 table, generator, whatever they need.
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman will have a booth. Done
- Two new 20×40 canopy no more water leaks for kitchen ONLY.
- Ordered 8 more signs 12 x 18. Done
- Get kitchen set up work areas security job and volunteers Wed Sept 7.
- Clean all appliances asap volunteers and security get plugged in by Sept 7.
- When we get different frig & freezer keep at office at office? Plug in by Aug 15th. Jason Hop will get the appliances. Unless someone else finds one.
- Map of kitchen Joe. Done
- Map vendors Joe. Done
- Order 3 more flags Joe. Done
- Crafts for kids, Greg has some drum kits for kids. Done
- Better headsets.
- Fanny packs for security?
- May have a live eagle, Tommy and I are working on that. The eagle is expense $498.00 for one hour.
- Moccasin tournament.
- Some other dance specials.
- Get teepees setup Sept 7, security, and volunteers.
- Get garbage bags out all over, Security and Volunteers Sept 10. Get some garbage cans out by Sept 7th.
- Put sinks all around toilets and kitchen area. Ordered two more.
- We only need two toilets from Sept 7-9 then the others will be delivered on the 10th. Done
- Ordered pods to be delivered on Sept 7th. Tommy and Jason have the contract numbers.
- Wipe everything down all over for Wacipi. volunteers, constantly.
- Make checks to MMDTC, 1351- Sibley Memorial Hwy- Mendota MN, 55150.
- On the buttons this year will be Lisa Bellanger and Dave Carson our head dancers. Done
- Big sign for people who donated to the Wacipi. Done
- Hang pictures up on fence like at the Gathering last Sept.
- We need at least 20 cases of pop diet & regular you can get donations for pop too.
- Get camper from Steve or John?
- Water by podium keep cold, make sure there is always water in cooler. Volunteers
- Two lines for kitchen and condiments both sides. Tommy, Jason H, Volunteers.
- Ordered 9 pans of meat. Sharon Done
- Order xxx large garbage bags Sharon. Done
- St Peters said we can use their garbage again. Done
- Recycle guy may get us supplies from the city? Sharon
- Call for Pow wow Insurance Sharon. Done
- Helpersâ€™ volunteers for feast Friday night & Sunday. Maria, Roxanne B, Lyn, Josine.
- Need water at least 30 cases like always. Maybe 10 cases more?
- Marie from Cherokee Park United Church has another church to help with feast on Sunday.
- Call or email Marie for volunteersâ€™ jobs, she could use help calling volunteers 651-239-5163 firstname.lastname@example.org Maria please send me the volunteers list from last year
- We have about 25 volunteers so far I will get you there information to Maria.
- Maria and I went through the volunteer list update everyone, that took two hours.
- Jyni Koschak email@example.com cell or work 612-704-6116
- Called Jyni (Volunteers of American) she is on the calling list. Done
- Maria you should talk to her to from the Volunteers of American great gal.
- If you have volunteers in mind, they need to let Maria know starting Now August 1St.
- Keep anyone not working out of kitchen. I will have signs. Done
- Sign In will be separate from kitchen. Trying to have the kitchen more open. Outside behind kitchen by security, will be vendors and volunteers.
- I will send kitchen map and vendors map soon. Almost Done
- Make eating area bigger.
- Kitchen will be bigger, less things in kitchen.
- Volunteers for feast Friday night 4 people. Maria
- Volunteer job for helping kids bead. Maria
- Volunteers to put kids teepee up. Maria
- Security Flags up.
- Security make sure toilets have lights all 10. Especially the toilets in the back.
- Volunteers to take down all signs and lights on toilets when Wacipi is over after 6 on Sept 12. Give to Sharon.
- Volunteers make sure elders get water.
- Permit Jason Delmont by August 15 no later.
- Signs up Jason D and security.
- Get signs up by August 15 around Mendota. The rest by Sept 7-9.
- Have Wacipi meeting NOW.
- Mary Armstrong said she has maybe 15 foreign students maybe more.
- 1 new small refrigerator, 1 new freezer. The other ones are 20 years old, leak, smell. We will give then away or bring to the dump. Someone may like one for the garage give us a call if you want them. We will have 2 refrigerates and 2 freezers like always.
- $2,000 from Riverboat Gaming.
- $750.00 from Leach Lake.
- $500.00 from Mille Lac Band of Ojibwe.
- Michael Lamay sent our 144 donations from tribals in the U.S. Six have come back. I hope there will be more. Just to have a relationship with them.
- We got a donation from one of the letters Mike send out. From the Yavapa Tribe, Prescott AZ for $1,000.00. Good job Mike.
- Lecelia and Romelle Ogenina 218-308-1912 sister to cook frybread. They will help run the kitchen. They are coming from Leech Lake. We are paying for the rooms. They came to our gathering.
- Connie will make 20 tubs of fry bread. Done
- Mike will make 4 tubs. Done
- Oneida Tribal Council turned us down for donation May 19, 2021.
- Peter 651-905-4307 from St Peters Church is the contact person.
- Jason got wood for fire. Done
- Pow Wow Panels 34×81. We donâ€™t need 18, probably 10.
- We will honor St Thomas and Mike and Amy and students.
- Crafts for kids we need beads. volunteers
- Rate rooms from $109.00 to $64.00 rooms for helpers out of town. You must mention Mendotadakota to get the discount. Sharon Done
- Email Woman foundations volunteers.
- Email any native foundations for donations & volunteers.
- Security people 6 only,
- Kalpulli dancers between the around 5:30ish on Sat.
- And of course, our regular wonderful vendors who come each year.
- Thank you to all our volunteers.
- Chrysalis womenâ€™s group. Sharon
- Mike LeMay may bring Salmon for Wacipi.
- Big posters for all our Wacipis we have had since 2000.
- Native Radio up north kOJB Tommy. Done
- Pioneer Press Sharon. Done
- Channel 2 or any Channel. Volunteers can call to see if we can get some airtime.
- Minnesota Explore Joe. Done
- Call Molly, and other vendors Sharon. Done
- Susu, Coldwater will have a booth. Done
- Called Molly. No reply yet.
- Ordered polo shirts. Done
- Mikes book for Mendota will be at Wacipi?
- Sharon will donate her own Jewerly with buttons while supplies last.
- If anyone has any jewelry, they want to donate please call Sharon.
- Volunteers for raffle booth we need 6 people.
- Blue Loom vendor.
- Hot dog vendor
- Lemonade vendor
- We have 15 vendors so far.
- Make flyers. Done
- Make bigger signs. Done
- Called vendors. Sharon Done
- Ordered 2 more tents. Done
- 4 new vendors have called.
- Called T.V and Radio Stations. Done
- Ask members to get donations or gift cards.
- Ask for donations from any Churches anywhere. I have the request for donations and Wacipi flyer to give to them. Both are on or website. Mendotadakota.com
- Volunteers to cut fish.
- Volunteers (runners) to pick up ice from Arbyâ€™s and other supplies we may need.
- Donation signs.
- Volunteers for application for honorary and linear members.
- Volunteers for sign in Maria.
- Volunteers for guest sign in.
- Are done and corrected. Done
- Ordered new toilets, another place, prices went up too much. Ordered 8 reg, 2 handicaps. May order a third handy cab for changing into regalia.
- Make sign for the toilet for changing into regalia. Not to be used for a toilet.
- Cancelled Fun Jump.
- Ordered 4 Canopies from Walmart since we cancelled Fun Jump.
- Kitchen map is done.
- Vendorâ€™s map is done.
- Maria and Sharon got the calling list updated took two hours.
- T shirts have been ordered. Done
- Thank you, cards. Done
- Pods are coming Sept 7th around 11:00ish. Done
- We will be using St Peters Garbage. Done
- Signs in kitchen how to make Indian Taco.
- Get water from St Peters, get 2 hoses if we can.
- Set up Button booth first thing Sept 10th.
- Orientation in kitchen. Maria or Lyni.
- Maria will call Joy to get some details about the kitchen.
- Must get hi speed Internet now.
- Called St Peters about internet.
- We have plenty of aprons. Done
- Cancelled Wacipi meeting on July 25. Next one on Sunday night at 6 Aug 1st . Watch for zoom invite.
- Get more gloves we will go through lots od groves and wipes.
- I ordered lots of wipes.
- Please check out our flyer as it has changed a few times.
- Greg needs help in the podium with the sound system. He needs a break from time to time.
- Greg also needs help with lights.
- We need suggestion and your input on the Wacipi.
Big or small you will be added to our donations list. We appreciate your help. We will have a big sign at the Wacipi.
Please pay by check, money order.
You can pay by Pal Pay or any other ways, also they charge fees that come out of the money you would send.
We have a Pay Pal icon on our site if that’s what you prefer.
Please check out our website often. New articles on there daily. www.mendotadakota.com
We have been on Drum Hop and Powwows.com since March 21. Tried to update had a hard time? I will get it update soon.
If I don’t get it edited in a few days. I will put the information on our site. I have received many emails about the Wacipi. So I know people have seen us on Powwows.com and Drum Hop.
Pidamaya Tribal Council, andÂ Pow Wow Committee.
If you are looking for an article and don’t see it, use search.
Thank you for coming to our Mendota Oyate (Mendota Nation) website.
Mendota Dakota Mdewakanton Tribal Community Discussion Federal Recognition Meeting Press Release
If the video doesn’t work, or if you prefer to download it, here is the video hosted in Zoom:
Press Release 6/21/2021
Reply to us as to what you think of the video?
Thank you Greg Strandmark Historian and Sharon Lennartson Tribal Chairwoman.
I will add more names of people to thank, soon as I complete the list.
Need Golf Cart to rent or if you own one that we can use? We need the cart from Wacipi Sept 7-13-2021.
Everything is so much more money this year. The golf cart is almost $175.00 more then Sept 2019. We paid $320.00 in 2019 including delivery. Now it is S370 plus $125.00 delivery now $495.00. Donations are coming in slow?
See you at the Wacipi Sept 10-11-12-2021.
Quick Reference to some Mendota Members who are DESCENDANTS of Chief Cetanwakanmani (Little Crow).
Dear Mendota members. We would love to add your descendances charts on our website. Not just the Felix, Robinette and LeClaire family. We are a community of 130 members in good standing.
Send your stories or descendance charts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Tribal Council, Greg, Jason, Joe and Sharon.
Sorry to report. There was apparently a homicide with the body dumped in a car, parked at the Coldwater entrance. An accelerant was used to set the car afire Thursday night about 11 pm.
Lon Navarre has agreed to sage at Coldwater, tomorrow morning, Saturday, May 29. Meet at the Coldwater entrance at 10 am.
Last summer the National Park Service grounds-keeper, Neil, found a body hanged on an oak tree over by the tree line near where some rock seats are placed in a circle. We hope to sage that area also.
Please come to this sage-purifying event if you can. We know this is the right thing to do.
Download the PDF here:
Please help the Mendota Community get our classes back again. We are currently having a small class on zoom with Chris Mato Nunpa.
Please help the Mendota Community get our classes back again.
2020 was a bad year for everyone, and the Mendota community was hit very hard.
It is so very important to keep our traditions alive forever including our language and culture.
Please consider donating to help. $10, $50, $100, any amount will help so much and all of your donations are tax deductible. You can request that your donation goes specifically to language, cultures, regalia classes, pow wow or let us know if there is something important to you with your donation.
You can donate once, or monthly. Anyone making monthly donating will be honored at our pow wow. We are hoping to have our POW WOW on Sept 10-11-21.
We also have beading classes. Please let us know if you’re interested.
Help with operation would be greatly appreciated to keep our doors open.
With sure determination, passion, and love we have kept our door open barely for 26 years.
A community center would be nice for our people, we have a tiny office that we rent in Mendota MN.
Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community is a small native community struggling every day to keep our doors open. www.mendotadakota.com 651 452-4141. Please send checks to
1351 Sibley Memorial Hwy
Mendota, MN 55150.
Please help us to Preserving, Protecting, and Promoting the Dakota culture for future Generations.
Thank You! Pidamaya!
The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community Tribal Council.
A new folder containing files, documents, images, etc. has been created and can be viewed in the DOWNLOADS & DOCS folder.
Hello all. The new MMDTC Newsletter for Winter 2020 is available on our newsletter page: https://mendotadakota.com/mn/newsletter/
To all current members in good standing, please call the office make sure your file is in order and complete. If you want you file to go to the BIA.
We are working on how we are going to send in the narrative when it is done. We want you to understand what the processÂ and when this will happen. Hope to have a meeting maybe at the DuPuis House outside? We will keep you informed.
Your tribal council
Sharon, John,Jason and Greg.
HONORARY APPLICATION FEB 2020Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 04-20-2020.
Prospective Honorary Members:
This application is for people who would like to be part of a Native American Community.
We are your local Native American Community. Our roots go back hundreds of years in this area.
If you would like to be part of our Mendota Community, please fill out the application.
We would love to have you join us.
We have our monthly meetings at the DuPuis House.
Many of us are related to Angelique Renville and Hypolite DuPuis. LeClaire, Felix,
Renville, Fernier, Campbell, Turpin, LeMay, Auge, LaBatte, Robinette,
Newcomb, Perron,Â DuPuis,Â Cermak, Leith,Â Sherry,Â LaCroix,Â Frazier,
Faribault, Crooks, DuFour, Coursolle.
Some of us are cousin to Chief Little Crow from the 1862 Sioux Uprising.
Pidamaya means thanks you Dakota, (Thank You) English.
The Mendota Tribal Council and The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community Members.
Our 21st (Wacipi) Dakota, (Pow Wow) in English is Sept 11-13-20 at St. Peters Church, in Mendota.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME BRING THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS, PLEASE PASS THE WORD.
Sharon Lennartson: Tribal Chairwoman
John Leclaire: Vice Chairman
Joe Lennartson: Assisted Treasurer
Jason Delmont: Secretary
Greg Standmark: Historian
Within this document, I being of legal age, hereby give my consent to have my name enumerated on the census roll of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community of the State of Minnesota.