November 2, 2008
Dakota Concentration Camp
Fort Snelling State Park
Mni Sota Makoce
The Oceti Sakowin along with the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community hosted a Wokiksuye Wicohan â€“ a feast of Thanks Giving â€“ on Sunday November 2 at the Dakota Concentration Camp at Fort Snelling State Park to honor the Dakota Ancestors that were imprisoned there and eventually removed from the State.
Originally the DNR had planned to host an event featuring a white author and detailing what they called â€œa factual, objective account of the Internment Camp and the experiences of its inhabitants.â€ And said that they were â€˜exploring another side of Minnesotaâ€™s Sesquicentennial commemorationâ€™â€¦
Upon hearing of the now cancelled event Dakota Elder Clifford Canku stated â€œThey keep raising their own spokespersons to speak for usâ€ and the idea was born for the Oceti Sakowin and MMDC to put on an event by and for the Dakota People.
The event was recorded by Mona Smith of Allies Media Art in conjunction with the Minnesota Humanites Center.Â The speakers included Phyllis Red Day, Clifford Canku, and Mike Simon all of Sisseton; Faith Bad Moccasin and Melvin Grey Owl both of Crow Creek; Chris Mato Nunpa of Upper Sioux and Sheldon Wolf Child of Lower Sioux as well others.
All and all it was a very moving event and we know that the ancestors were pleased â€“ they showed their appreciation through the beautiful fall day, the shared history and good feeling that was in each and every heart as we left the Concentration Camp.