“Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the Dakota Culture for Future Generations”
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Native American Stories, Folklore, Poetry, Religion & History

We would love to add your descendances charts on our website

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 mendotadakota@gmail.com

Your Tribal Council, Greg, Jason, Joe and Sharon.


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)

“Having been informed that a report is current that I am harboring guilty Indians”

1899 McLaughlin Roll Census of the loyal Mdewakanton Mendota Dakota

Faribault Central Republican – June 10, 1863

Having been informed that a report is current that I am harboring guilty Indians, and that there are now at my place a large number, some of whom are known to have participated in the outbreak, and that threats of violence to any Indians found there, have been made, I deem it my duty to quiet the fears of persons who might believe such report to be true, though I hope my fellow citizens will examine for themselves.

The only Indians at my place are:

First, Wacou, or LaClare, and his family, who were here during the outbreak, and are known to be entirely innocent. He came with me when I moved here, and has been here ever since that time, never living with the tribe and his children are being educated here, and now talk English well.

Second, Pepe and brother and family – are known to all our citizens, and whose character is vouched for by Col. Crooks, General Sibley and others – have always lived with me, going among the Indians only at the time of payment.

Third, A widow with two children. She has one son in our army, whose good character and soldierly conduct is vouched for by his officers.

Fourth, Taopi and family. This is the person whom General Sibley, Col. Crooks, and other officers, as well as the white captives, unite in saying was the means of saving the captives taken by Little Crow.

Fifth, The wife and mother of Good Thunder, a man whom all admit also, assisted in saving the captives, and is now employed as a scout for General Sibley. His family were sent here for safety.

Above you have the names of all the Indians in Faribault, and I trust no person will contend that these Indians, after rendering to the country such service should be sent off to be killed by hostile tribes.

I know these Indians well, and I know them to be harmless, innocent and good persons; but if the citizens of Faribault are not disposed to protect these “friends of the whites,” all I ask is that they may not be molested, but that I may have time to notify General Sibley and have them removed, if the people do not wish them to remain. I await notice of your determination.

Alex. Faribault

Mendota Dakota and the Rebirth of a Community, video documentary.

This documentary film follows the story of the Mendota Dakota, a Native American tribe from Mendota, Minnesota, from pre-Minnesota to the present era.
It includes interviews with Jim Anderson, Sharon Lennartson, Jim Albrecht and Curt LeClaire of the Mendota Dakota tribe. It also features a short speech from Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe.
This film was created by Brian Gilbert.
Part 1 of 4

Part 2 of 4
Part 3 of 4
Part 4 of 4

Our mother would have been 100 today.

She was born on March 21 1911. Here is a picture of her brothers and sister. Selisha is on the left side. We love and miss mom. Love Mickey, Beverly, Sharon, Linda and the rest of your family.

My uncle Russ is in his 80’s, he has the white shirt on. My auntie Margaret is in her 90’s.  We love you both so much!

If you would like to read this article where this picture came from, go to the Circle Newspaper website and print it. It is under the February 2000. The website is  thecirclenews.org

This story is about us becoming the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community. It is also the home of our ancestors. Our ancestors never  left Mendota, this is our roots.

Their are many other families that belong to the Mendota Community. If you would like to add your family to our site, then send me your story, pictures, etc. We would love to share them. Sharon

Click on the picture once to make it larger, twice to make it even larger.

Thank you Bruce for writing this story. March 15th, 2009 by Bruce White.

Someday the fact of there being two classes of Dakota people in Minnesota, the very, very rich and all the others, may finally be addressed. But, even if the income inequality among Dakota is not remedied, the conclusions drawn by many non-Indians about who is Dakota and who is not based on wealth and other arbitrary factors must be discussed. Those who draw such conclusions should at least acknowledge the process through which the inequalities came about and respect those who were not in the right place at the right time.

Among those who exemplify the inequalities among the Minnesota Dakota are the members of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community. The Mendota Dakota are a non-federally recognized community consisting of a number of families of Dakota descent, mostly from the town of Mendota, which is a small town in the midst of the metropolis, across the mouth of the Minnesota River from Fort Snelling.

Many of them are descended from Angelique Renville, who was a member of Little Crow’s Kaposia band of Dakota prior to 1862 and was Little Crow’s cousin. Angelique Renville married Hypolite Dupuis, who was the bookkeeper for Henry H. Sibley. Because of this connection, Angelique Renville, along with other of her relatives, was not exiled from Minnesota with the other Dakota when they were sent on steamboats from Fort Snelling in the spring of 1863. The missionary John P. Williamson wrote in May 1863 that when he accompanied the Dakota who left Fort Snelling on May 5, about 200 Dakota were left behind, some of whom became scouts and soldiers working with Sibley. He added: “Among those we left behind at Fort Snelling were all the Renvilles including the Widow, Paul, Simon, Kawanke, and all the Campbells.”

Daughters, sons, and later descendants of Dupuis and Renville married into other families, often French or Dakota or even Ojibwe mixed blood and most continued to live at Mendota into the 20th century. They also had relatives on the Santee Reservation in Nebraska and there were reports of visiting back and forth. And when Dakota families moved back to Minnesota over the decades, the Mendota Dakota were there to greet them and offer them a place to stay.

When a Special Inspector of the Department of Interior, James McLaughlin, was assigned in 1899 to do a census of the Mdewakanton Dakotas in Minnesota, he noted that there was some difficulty in determining which Dakota were Mdewakantons and which were other groups, because of intermarriage and other factors. Some who resided in one place opposed the enrollment of those in other places. McLaughlin took special note of Angelique Renville and her family, stating that there was no question that she was Mdewakanton, having been part of the band from birth. “I was well acquainted with said Angelique Dupuis (Nee Renville) for several years prior to her death [in 1890] and knew all of her family, hence my making this statement to show the absurdity of the protests of the Indians to the enrollment of her descendants as Medwakantons.” (McLaughlin’s census roll is available online.)

My introduction to the Mendota Dakota came about during the struggle over Highway 55, when the Minnesota Department of Transportation and other agencies pushed through the construction of the highway with very little environmental or historical or cultural review. The Mendota Dakota were among the groups who put their bodies on the line to try to stop or mitigate the construction. Some of the story of what happened, along with some Mendota history is found in Mary Losure’s book Our Way or the Highway. The protests of 1998 to 2000 seemed to have very little effect on the route of the highway but various groups including the Mendota Dakota were able to get through the state capitol in St. Paul a law protecting Coldwater Spring.

The leader of the community at that time was Bob Brown, a descendant of Angelique Renville through the extended Leclaire family. Like many he was tied to Mendota but had lived in other parts of the Twin Cities because that’s where the jobs were. Bob’s grandfather Albert Leclaire had grown up in Mendota. His grandmother Lillian Felix—one of whose nieces married Amos Crooks at Prior Lake—had attended Carlisle Indian School. In the 1920s and 1930s Albert Leclaire and family members, including Bob’s uncle Russell Leclaire, lived and farmed at  Prior Lake on a land assignment from the Department of Interior—on the 1886 Mdewakanton Sioux lands that would later become the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. His land certificate certified that he was a member of the May 20, 1886 Mdewakantons. Albert Leclaire died as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident on the reservation in 1942. Refused treatment at local Shakopeee hospital he was transported all the way to the agency in Pipestone where he died after a few weeks.

The five children of Albert and Lillian Leclaire, including Raymond, Selisha (the mother of Bob Brown), Russell (in the center), Margaret, and Albert.

Russell Leclaire recalled that over the years after his father’s death he was on good terms with the children of Amos Crooks who were first cousins once removed. Russell used to go back on visits to Prior Lake. At one point Norman Crooks said to him that he ought to move back because they were going to start a bingo hall and things might get better on the reservation. Russell later said that he did not want to give up the life he had built in the cities and that there were too many bad memories of living there as a child. It should also be mentioned that one reason Russell Leclaire and his father had never became members of the Prior Lake community when they lived there in the 1930s was that the federal government did not allow the community to be organized under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act until 1969.

Later on when the Prior Lake Sioux, now calling themselves the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, began to have more success, Bob Brown and some of the other people at Mendota sought membership in the community but, like many they were turned away. In effect membership there was like a game of musical chairs. If you were sitting there when the music stopped playing you were a member. Otherwise, forget it. There are many other odd anomalies resulting from the delay in the organization at Prior Lake. For example the Amos Crooks family, including Norman Crooks, were living in Long Beach, California for a good part of the 1930s and had the Prior Lake community been organized then, they would not have been members of it.

The Mendota families tried again and again at Shakopee. Finally someone in the offices there said sarcastically, “Why don’t you form your own community?” This is what they did. Of course the Mendota Dakota were already a close-knit community, people who stayed together, went to church together, celebrated together, people who might go away from Mendota to look for jobs and opportunity, but who always came back. So forming their own community simply meant creating a formal organization, a 501 (c) (3).

At this point the Mendota Dakota began to look into getting federal recognition, without knowing exactly how difficult this would be. They began doing extensive genealogy and historical research, amassing a great deal of supporting information. But getting federal recognition for an Indian community is an impossibly difficult and cumbersome process that a few experts in the field say requires at least a million dollars to start with. This is to pay for the research, the lawyers, the genealogists, to gather and present information about a community to meet a set of arbitrary standards that a few recognized groups would be unable to meet today if they had to prove their legitimacy.

The late 1990s were a frustrating time for the Mendota Dakota, because the more they worked the farther away the goal seemed to get. But then Bob Brown and the other Mendota Dakota decided that they would focus on being the people that they wanted the federal government to recognize them as being: a Dakota community that cared about the cultural heritage of being Dakota. Bob, his sisters Bev and Linda, his dynamic wife Linda, and other many other members of the Mendota Dakota began to take responsibility for the cultural heritage of Bdote, the sacred area around the mouth of the Minnesota River. It was an important time to get active because of all the development pressures on the Bdote area that few other groups seemed to be fighting.

The Highway 55 struggle and the protection of Coldwater Spring were part of it. But even though the highway was built, there were other jobs to do. When word got out that a development was proposed for Pilot Knob, known to the Dakota as Oheyawahi, the Mendota Dakota drew together a coalition of people, supporters or preservation, environmentalists, and Highway 55 opponents, and historians and anthropologists like Alan Woolworth and me. They set out to educate people, engaging in the political process as various proposals made their way through the Mendota Heights City Council. In the end, through the help of public and private funding, the city was able to obtain title to the development land, preserving it as public open space.

This was a long arduous process, with many people contributing on the way. The Mendota Dakota did not do it all, but they inspired many others to make it happen. A year ago, I heard Mayor of Mendota Heights John Huber say that his own conviction that Pilot Knob should be saved from development was inspired by a speech given by Michael Scott, who succeeded his uncle Bob Brown as chairman of the community after Bob’s death in 2003. At a public meeting in St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Mendota, Michael spoke eloquently about the necessity of protecting Dakota burial places. Over the years Michael’s cousin Jim Anderson has often worked to help coalesce the force necessary to continue the Mendota Dakota legacy of looking after Bdote. Curt LeClaire, who is now the chair, and Bob’s sister Sharon Lennartson, and many others carry on to do fulfill the community’s role at Bdote.

Over the years the Mendota Dakota have quarreled internally. They have had missteps along the way. They have been ignored and sometimes ostracized by government agencies in shameful ways, including by the Minnesota Historical Society. But they have kept on going. Several years ago I went to a meeting at the office of the Mendota Dakota on how to mobilize and educate people on the issue of the Treaty of 1805 and the rights the Dakota signers reserved in it for their people. I can imagine few other places on Indian reservations or in universities where I could have gone to discuss the treaty in as much detail as we did that day in Mendota.

A Dakota woman from another reservation was there to give advice. There was a discussion of how to present the issue to the public, to make people understand that it was a binding obligation of the U.S. government and still had meaning today. Someone made a suggestion, I’m not sure exactly what it was. The woman responded “No don’t say that. Just say: ‘I’m just a person who is trying to do the right thing.’”

It was a beautiful thing to say, especially because that is the way the Mendota Dakota have been as long as I’ve known them. The greatest lesson I have learned from the Mendota Dakota is that one should never wait for approval or validation from others before setting out to do something important. Instead, be who you are or want to be, regardless of what others say about you.

Someday, perhaps, the disparities between Dakota groups in Minnesota will be addressed. Perhaps the Mendota Dakota will benefit. In the meantime I keep remembering what Henry David Thoreau said: “If a man advances confidently in the direction of his dreams to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Honoring Our Ancestors Feb 5, 2011 at 11:00am.

The Mendota People will be having a ceremony  HONORING OUR ANCESTORS on February 5, 2011 at 11:00am.  Please tell people you know about this very special ceremony.  It would be nice to see more native people joining us. Everyone is welcome!

The Sacred fire starts at 9:30am.

Please join us at Fort Snelling State Park, below the Mendota Bridge by the Interpretive Center.

Please bring a dish to pass, the feast will be at the Indian Center in Mpls.

1530 E Franklin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Arvol Looking Horse will be joining us. Arvol will be talking about World Peace and Prayer Day, which is on June 18-21, 2011.

We have permits so you can get in free. You can pick them up at the park office under the Mendota Bridge. Tell them you’re there for the “Honoring the Ancestors” ceremony, and they will gave you a permit to put on your car for free.

For more information please email us at mendotadakota@gmail.com or call 651-452-4141.

The Mendota Tribal Council.


Dakota War of 1862.

Dakota War of 1862
Part of Indian Wars
The Siege of New Ulm Minn.jpg
The Siege of New Ulm, Minnesota on August 19, 1862
Date 1862
Location Minnesota
Santee Sioux
Little Crow

Dakota War of 1862
Lower Sioux Agency – Redwood Ferry – New Ulm – Fort Ridgely – Birch Coulee – Fort Abercrombie – Wood Lake – Camp Release

Operations Against the Sioux in North Dakota

The Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising, (and the Dakota Uprising, the Sioux Outbreak of 1862, the Dakota Conflict, the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 or Little Crow’s War) was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Dakota people (Sioux). It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota. It ended with a mass execution of 38 Dakota men on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota.

Throughout the late 1850s, treaty violations by the United States and late or unfair annuity payments by Indian agents caused increasing hunger and hardship among the Dakota. Traders with the Dakota previously had demanded that the government give the annuity payments directly to them (introducing the possibility of unfair dealing between the agents and the traders to the exclusion of the Dakota). In mid-1862 the Dakota demanded the annuities directly from their agent, Thomas J. Galbraith. The traders refused to provide any more supplies on credit under those conditions, and negotiations reached an impasse.[1]

On August 17, 1862, four Dakota killed five American settlers while on a hunting expedition. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to try to drive whites out of the area. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, but estimates range from 400 to 800.

Over the next several months, continued battles between the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota bands.[2] By late December 1862, soldiers had taken captive more than a thousand Dakota, who were interned in jails in Minnesota. After trials and sentencing, 38 Dakota were hanged on December 26, 1862, in the largest one-day execution in American history. In April 1863 the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota. The United States Congress abolished their reservations.



LIVE CAM Dakota 38+2 Wokiksuye Memorial Ride and Annual Mankato Run 2009 December 13 – 26, 2009

Crow Creek Sioux Land is NOT For Sale

CLICK HERE to sign the demand to return of the unlawfully auctioned Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Lands to their rightful owners.

To: Dakota Oyate, friends and supporters.
Date:  December 15, 2009.
Re: Ride Itinerary and Donation Needs – on behalf of Peter Lengkeep, Crow Creek SD -2009 Eagle Staff Carrier.

The organizers who continued to fulfill the vision and commitment of the Dakota Wokiksuye Memorial Ride need your support.    The 5th Year of the Ride is taking place and the dream of prayer, healing and forgiveness for riders, communities and nations continues.  This is a call for friends and volunteers to help in whatever way they can, such as:  Hay and feed for horses, lodging, cooks to provide meals along the route, and a final feast on December 26, 2009, when Riders and Mankato Runners arrive at Land of Memories Park in Mankato.

Changes to Schedule and Route (see * for changes)

Dec. 13-17 – Riders will support Crow Creek Dakota Oyate.  Leave Flandreau, S.D. on Dec. 17th; Leave Pipestone, MN, on the 18th to Russell and Milroy, MN).

Dec. 20 (Sun.)– Arrive Birch Coulee Battlefield/Morton, MN (Horses will be corralled at Strong Family Ranch/Birch Coulee).

Dec. 21 (Monday) – Rest Day.  Horses corralled at Strong Family Ranch/Birch Coulee.

Dec. 22 (Tues.) 5:30 p.m. – Opening Feast – (Morton City Hall.*) sponsored by Lower Sioux elders and families.

Dec. 23 (Wed.) 9 a.m. – Ceremony at Birch Coulee Battlefield. Riders leave Birch Coulee/Morton to Fort Ridgley.

5:30 p.m. – Return for evening meal at Morton City Hall sponsored by Upper Sioux Community, Granite Falls. Horses corralled at Strong Family Ranch/Birch Coulee.

Dec. 24 (Thurs). 9 a.m. Fort Ridgley to Courtland.  Horse corralled at Courtland/Folsum Family Ranch.

6p.m. Meal at Courtland Community Center.

Dec. 25 (Friday) 9 a.m. Courtland to Mankato, Land of Memories Park.  Horses corralled at Courtland/Folsum Family Ranch.

5:30 p.m. Memorial Feast sponsored by Cloud-Eagle Chief Family at Best Western Banquet Room, No. Mankato.

Dec. 26, a.m. – 9 a.m. Riders leave Land of Memories Park to downtown Mankato, Ceremony.  Return to Land of Memories Park to greet Mankato Runners.

Dec. 26 –Noon, approx. Final Honoring Feast for Riders and Runners, Best Western Motel, No. Mankato.  Conclude  2009 Wokiksuye Memorial Ride and Mankato Run activities.

If you can donate financially to the Dakota 38 Memorial Ride,  send donations, Dakota Wicohan, P.O. Box 7, Granite Falls, MN 56241 or through the official website:  Dakota 38 website, 2008 news/photos and updates:  http://www.smoothfeather.org/dakota38/.

If you can Volunteer, Cooks and servers are needed for the final feast.  (Menu, soup, fry bread, coffee, tea, water, fresh fruit)  Contact Info: Cooks/meal volunteers – Yvonne Leith (320-226-6994)or Fern Cloud, Granite Falls, MN 320-564-4954.

For Rider/Horse needs, MN Coordinator, Darwin Strong, 507-430-5246.  Lead Riders: Peter Lengkeep 605-730-3128 and Julian Boucher 605-268-6983.  

Mankato Run Info: Dallas Goldtooth, Minneapolis, 507-210-4679.

Wopida, thanks to the many  communities, tribal communities, organizations, churches and families who have offered help and support on this sacred, healing journey.

September 23, 1805 TREATY WITH THE SIOUX.

September 23, 1805

Ratified April 16, 1808.
Never proclaimed by the President.
Conference Between the United States of America and the Sioux Nation of Indians.*

Whereas, a conference held between the United States of America and the Sioux Nation of Indians, Lieut. Z. M. Pike, of the Army of the United States, and the chiefs and warriors of the said tribe, have agreed to the following articles, which when ratified and approved of by the proper authority, shall be binding on both parties:

ARTICLE 1. That the Sioux Nation grants unto the United States for the purpose of the establishment of military posts, nine miles square at the mouth of the river St. Croix, also from below the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Peters, up the Mississippi, to include the falls of St. Anthony, extending nine miles on each side of the river. That the Sioux Nation grants to the United States, the full sovereignty and power over said districts forever, without any let or hindrance whatsoever.

ARTICLE 2. That in consideration of the above grants the United States (shall, prior to taking possession thereof, pay to the Sioux two thousand dollars, or deliver the value thereof in such goods and merchandise as they shall choose).

ARTICLE 3. The United States promise on their part to permit the Sioux to pass, repass, hunt or make other uses of the said districts, as they have formerly done, without any other exception, but those specified in article first.

In testimony hereof, we, the undersigned, have hereunto set our hands and seals, at the mouth of the river St. Peters, on the 23rd day of September, one thousand eight hundred and five.

Z. M. Pike, [SEAL]
First Lieutenant and Agent at the above conference.
Le Petit Carbeau, his x mark. [SEAL.]
Way Aga Enogee, his x mark.[SEAL.]

‘Film Feast: A Harvest of Fresh Videos’

This is are very own Tiffany Eggenberg from our community, lets go  support her. Sharon

Opening Reception is at 6pm, Screening at 7pm.

All my Relations arts program will debut “Magic Wands” by film maker Elizabeth Day along with a new short by Jonathan Thunder, and a presentation of Hawk Eyes by Barbara Britain-a documentary recorded in Ancient Traders Gallery.  Other short works by American Indian filmmakers to be announced. 

In Magic Wands an Ojibwe elder (speaking Ojibwemowin) tells her granddaughter the story of a young boy who experiences wild ricing for the first time.  The boy is captivated by the power of his ricing sticks, which he believes to be ‘magic wands’.  Immersed as the grandmother narrates the tale in Ojibwe, she answers her granddaughters question about the sacredness and importance of wild rice to the Ojibwe people. 

Ancient Traders Gallery, 1113 E Franklin Ave

Please enter near Marias Cafe.  All My Relations arts programs at Ancient Traders Gallery are a cultural collaboration of Great Neighborhoods! Development Corporation.  For more info call 612-870-6115

I had displayed my 3 pieces of the Dakota Commemorative March in a show in January and Barbara Britain filmed me talking about the pieces for the documentary Hawk Eyes. 

Margaret Stewart Designs

Margaret Stewart does glass & marble engravings, one of a kind custom.


Designs can be taken from your own photos or even your own art work.  All engravings are one-of-a-kind, created for unique one-of-a-kind people! Your imagination is the limit!

Styles of engraving are done free hand with miniature grind stones and is very similar to scratch board art or an ink sketch only it is created on glass or mirror like the Blue Ridge Lodge or the Family Time Wolves engravings on 24 X 36″ bronze mirrors  found at the website.

There is an other option that is of Sand Carving, to get a better idea of what can be created for any special occasion.

She may be making mugs for the Pow Wow. She does beautiful work.

Posted in NATIVE ART | Edit

Bear & Wolf fire place screen-Blue Ridge Mt. Lodge

Illegal for Dakota Indians to enter Minnesota or Dakota?!?


After the Dakota Conflict in 1862, Congress passed legislation banning Dakota Indians from Minnesota and the Dakotas.Now, over 140 years later, one state lawmaker is asking Congress to repeal the law.

As News 12’s Bryan Piatt reports… it’s stirring up mixed emotions among area tribe members. Sheldon Wolfchild read the news imagewhen he opened the newspaper a few days ago.Sheldon Wolfchild says, "I’m going…all kinds of emotions run through me. I didn’t know it was still in the books."It still is… a ban on all Dakota Indians after war declared on these lands. That may soon be repealed after legislation brought forward by State Representative Dean Urdahl.Dean Urdahl says, "It basically is a bad law that’s still on the books. I felt there was some need for reconciliation and a need to take a bad law off the books." Wolfchild and Pam Halverson are both members of the Dakota tribe. They say the repeal would provide healing for them and also teach an important lesson to everyone in the state. Sheldon Wolfchild says, "It’s going to open up another avenue of healing for us. Not only for the Dakota people but for the other people in Minnesota to realize that we have to look at each other as common human beings from the heart…not just from the mind." But both point out it doesn’t erase what happened here over 100 years ago, when their ancestors were taken to prison camps… some even hung. Pam Halverson says, "It’s the start of a healing process for my people. It’s not going to take anything away from what happened in 1862 but it’s a start." A start Wolfchild says he’s shocked he may get to witness. Stephen Wolfchild says, "I never thought this would happen in my lifetime but I’m grateful for it." All that is needed now… is vote from Congress and a signature from President Obama.

Get this and other news. politics and satire from http://www.NewsForNatives.com

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Honoring Wiyaka Sinte Win / Tail Feather Woman and her vision

March 22nd, 2009<– by Bruce White –> · No Comments

Wiyaka Sinte Win or Tail Feather Woman, a Dakota woman who had a vision about the construction of a great drum, designed “to bring unity and healing” among peoples, is to be honored this year by Dakota people. Sometime after 1862, Tail Feather Woman, who is usually described as being Santee, or simply Dakota, was living in a particular village when it was attacked by “blue coats”–American soldiers. She took refuge in a swamp, hiding there for days, sometimes under the water so as not to be seen, breathing through a hollow reed. During that time she prayed for deliverance and she received a vision about the construction of a drum the beat of which had a transformative power that would lead the blue coats to lay down their arms.

Tail Feather Woman’s vision led to the construction of many drums in the late 19th century, made by Dakota people then passed on along with the vision and its teachings to Ojibwe communities in Minnesota, who later gave drums to other tribes farther east, such as the Menominee. Today these drums continue to be used in ceremonies and in celebrations. A number of Ojibwe communities today tell the story of “when the Sioux brought the drum.” An 1878  newspaper, as I tell in my book We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People, told of a gathering of people at Pine City, where one such drum was given. Although the article implied that those gathered were massing for an attack on white communities, it also recounted Tail Feather Woman’s vision in detail, making plain that her teachings were designed to bring people together in a time of hostility and distrust.

A Dakota woman held captive at the Fort Snelling concentration camp during the witner of 1862-63. The events of that time led to several decades of conflict between Dakota peoples and the U.S. government, during which time the experience and vision of Tail Feather Woman took place.

A Dakota woman held captive at the Fort Snelling concentration camp during the winter of 1862-63. The tragic events of that time led to several decades of conflict between Dakota peoples and the U.S. government, during which time the experience and vision of Tail Feather Woman took place. This photograph is in the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, which has many photographs of Dakota people taken at the Fort Snelling concentration camp.

In recent years Tail Feather Woman’s vision has been less well known among Dakota people than among the Ojibwe. In some cases Dakota people have heard her story from Ojibwe people. In a recent email announcing the intention to honor Tail Feather Woman, Paula Horne-Mullen:

While attending Red School House [in St. Paul] in the late 70’s and belonging to the Three Fires Drum Group, we – as Young People from various tribes, were invited to a Big Drum Ceremony at a Long House at Round Lake in Wisconsin. The People at the ceremony were made up of mostly Anishinabe Elders, all fluent, with a Huge Drum in the Center.  The long house had a light coming from the hole in the roof, which was shining and moved with sun movement on the Drum.  This particular Big Drum was Huge, with four staffs in the four directions, hanging from the staffs were painted hands in different colors representing the direction. The ceremony consisted of various songs, as the light moved in a certain area across the drum, which seemed to indicate a certain song to be song.  This ceremony is very private, a healing ceremony, with Societies that exist today with the mentioned Nations.

The ceremony came from Tail Feather Woman.  There are many versions of her story, but the basic story is what I would like to share from the Anishinabe Elders who had an interpreter to relay the origination of the ceremony. I was asked to stand and dance through some of their songs with the Elderly woman on each side; they wanted to honor a Dakota representative and told me the story as follows:

Tail Feather Woman was by her camp gathering food, when the Blue Coats invaded her village, there are some versions that say she told the Anishinabe that her four sons died in the invasion, some do not mention this, in any case, she ran for her life from the Blue Coats who were on horse back.  She dove in the lake and thought quickly enough to grab a reed to breath through and began to hide under the water for a long period of time, some say over night, some say for four days, in which case, it was very long for hours on end…  While under the water, she prayed and was visited by the Creator, who gave her a vision of the Big Drum.  It is said she told that the pounding of the drum is to bring healing for the People and bring them together in unity.  The Big Drum ceremony that is carried on with the Anishinabe, say it is a great Healing ceremony for their People. After the Blue Coats camped and waited for her to come up. Tail Feather Woman arose from the water by the calling of the spirit and the crying of her family, where upon she was able to walk through the camp of the blue coat soldiers, unseen. Tail Feather Woman was invisible to them, she walked through their camp and was able to take some of their food and walked across the plains to find her family. Exhausted and ill, she looked for her family, until she found them, they nursed her back to health and she told of her experience and vision. As directed by the Creator she headed east in gratitude with her family she passed on the vision, along with the songs and protocols for the ceremony to the Anishinabe.  This ceremony still exists today with many Societies.  She later died while living with the Anishinabe Nations.

So we remember Tail Feather Woman, a unique name, as it is the part of the eagle that is used for any of our ceremonial rites, you need that eagle tail feather to participate in most of our seven sacred rites, a powerful name.  She was one of our Nation’s women that survived a tremendous feat, through strength and endurance, earning a powerful vision of healing.  We should not allow her memory to die with her own people or rather; this story should be reborn to her People that she lived in honor of our people.  Her memory lives on with the Anishinabe Nation; there is even a Tail Feather Woman’s Society.  It is said that throughout History there are great Leaders that are men, but seldom do we remember a woman.  All women are sacred and remembered as a whole for what they gave as the ‘back bone’ for the People, but her remarkable feat deserves this honor; she had to be a very strong woman to have survived under water that long and be sincere enough in prayers to be gifted a great vision of healing that is being done to this day.  We need to remember her and honor her.

On March 12 a gathering was held to organize an event on July 15 to honor Tail Feather Woman. Plans included inviting “the Big Drum Societies of the Anishinabe Nation with possibly the Muskogee and Menominee Nation who carry on the Big Drum Ceremony and bring attention to the life of Tail Feather Woman with our own People. We will ask them to share their stories and songs of Tail Feather Woman.” One plan calls for creating a “memorial monument” at the north end of Pickerel Lake in South Dakota. According to Horne-Mullen: ” The monument would memorialize the story of her feat and to bring awareness of the lake, recognizing it as a Sacred Site, a place where the great vision occurred.  Our People and our future generations need to know who she was.”

Another plan is to build a drum to honor Tail Feather Woman’s legacy. Horne-Mullen wrote: “The Big Drum can only move in the eastern direction, so the thoughts are we would gift a Big Drum in her honor. . . . We will consult some Elders of the proper protocol of creating a Big Drum. . . . I once heard from a Tribe in the South, that we as humans should carry on our life in honor of our family and People, we should never suffer the 3rd death.  The first is when our spirit leaves our body, the second is when our body goes in the ground, the third death (that one should never suffer); is to suffer the death in the memory of your family and relatives.”

Horne-Mullen concluded saying: “This endeavor belongs to all Dakota Oyate, ‘everyone’ should be included in this feat, with a hand in making this happen, what her vision taught, to bring Unity and Healing. Pidamaye for taking time to read this, Paula Horne.”

For further questions, ideas or contributions to this effort, email Paula Horne-Mullen at  paula@wolakota.or

Traditional Arts. For more information visit the National Museum of the American Indian’s.

Media only: Leonda Levchuk (202) 633-6613 Eileen Maxwell (202) 633-6615

Media Web site: http://newsdesk.si.edu

National Museum of the American Indian Hosts

Multicultural Festival as Part of Inaugural Events

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will host “Out of Many: A Multicultural Festival of Music, Dance and Story” from Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, through Monday, Jan. 19, 2009. The three-day program to commemorate the inauguration of Barack Obama will feature daily performances of live music, dancing and storytelling in the museum from a variety of cultural traditions. All performances are free and open to the public.

Forty groups will appear, including:


Alma Boliviana, who perform traditional dances of the Andes


Cambodian Buddhist Society, who perform traditional music and dance from Cambodia


Washington Chinese Youth Club, who will perform traditional Lion dances


KanKouran, West African Dancers from Senegal


Gayle Ross, Cherokee storyteller


Mariachi Los Amigos, a mariachi ensemble


Halau O ‘Aulani, who will perform Native Hawaiian music and dance


Narrowbacks, who will perform traditional Irish music accompanied by championship Irish step dancers


New Klezmer Quintet, which features Jewish traditional/jazz/fusion music


The Plateros, a Navajo blues and rock band


The Wild Zappers, a hearing-impaired dance troupe


Yaaw Tei Yi Dancers, a Tlingit group from Juneau , Alaska

The festival is presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Latino Center, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, with assistance from the National Council for the


National Museum of the American Indian


Dec. 17, 2008

SI-541-2008 SI-541-2008 2

Traditional Arts. For more information visit the National Museum of the American Indian’s Web site, www.AmericanIndian.si.edu.

In addition to the inauguration festival, the National Museum of the American Indian will open a small photo exhibition, “A Century Ago…They Came as Sovereign Leaders” Jan. 14, 2009. In honor of the 2009 inauguration, the exhibition focuses on President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1905 inaugural parade and the six great chiefs who participated in the procession. The chiefs included Buckskin Charlie (Ute), American Horse (Oglala Sioux), Quanah Parker (Comanche), Geronimo (Chiricahua Apache), Hollow Horn Bear (Brule Sioux) and Little Plume (Piegan Blackfeet). The exhibition goes beyond the intent of President Roosevelt’s inaugural committee, which was to add color to the show. The six Native leaders had questions and actively sought President Roosevelt’s attention to their concerns, arriving with their own purposes in mind and representing the needs of their people. The exhibition remains open until Feb. 17, 2009.

Chief Wabasha, his story

MORTON, Minn. – Gripping a cane tightly, Ernest Wabasha slowly reached to touch a pair of heavy iron shackles hanging from his mantel – the same shackles his great-grandfather, the legendary Chief Wabasha, wore during a forced march across the southwestern Minnesota plains a century ago.

chiefwapasha  A portrait of Chief Wabasha hung nearby, surrounded by the strong faces of the Wabasha line before and after. The most recent are photos of Ernest and his son, Wabasha No. 6 and No. 7.

Ernest Wabasha’s eyes are watery and his 73-year-old body is frail, but the proud lift of his chin and the straight line of his mouth echo the framed pictures of his Mdewakanton Dakota ancestors.

Wabasha’s band endured a bloody war and was stripped of its south-central territory in the last century, but in time they made their way back. Asked about the strength of the Dakota – why they were driven to return – Wabasha became quiet and started straight ahead.

"It all comes back to leadership," Wabasha said.

The Wabashas, the Goodthunders and the Bluestones are among the old names in new generations in the Lower Sioux Indian Community. Today’s Mdewakanton Dakota say they are renewing a commitment toward unearthing their past from these river bluffs and surrounding prairies.

"We are coming together as a group again, as a Mdewakanton tribe," said Jody Goodthunder, a council member and former chairman. "We are reverting back to our culture. A lot of our members are moving back to the old ways."

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Minnesota’s 150th birthday is viewed through American Indian eyes in a show at Ancient Traders Gallery.

Art: History lesson

By Mary Abbe, Star Tribune

Dyani-Reynolds-Whitehawk draws nooses and the number 38 in her flag-like painting about the Mankato event. It was, and still is, the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

Minnesota’s 150th birthday is viewed through American Indian eyes in a show at Ancient Traders Gallery.


What: Paintings, drawings and other art on themes of Minnesota history by more than a dozen contemporary American Indian artists.

When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m Wed.-Fri.; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Jan. 24.

Where: Ancient Traders Gallery, 1113 E. Franklin Av., Mpls. 612-870-6115.

Admission: Free.

Review: Inspired by the 150th anniversary of Minnesota statehood, "States" asserts the primacy of

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Native Artist: Tiffany Eggenberg Contemporary Portraits

Tiffany Eggenberg offers sensitive pastel portraits of contemporary individuals whom she evidently encountered on an annual march commemorating the Dakota’s 1862-63 incarceration near Fort Snelling.

One of the more troubling incidents in Minnesota history occurred in Mankato 146 years ago today when 38 Dakota Sioux Indians were hanged in the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Their deaths were the culmination of four months of warfare between the Dakota and white settlers in the Minnesota River Valley. Sparked by white incursion into Indian lands, the battles were fueled by the federal government’s violation of its own treaties, exploitation by traders who impounded payments due the Indians, retaliatory theft and slaughter by the Indians and subsequent atrocities on both sides.

Starvation, cultural differences, bounties, race hatred, disease and injustice contributed to

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