End of Year Gratitude Letter
Welcome to 2024! Where the hope is new and our eyes fresh to continue the work we have been doing for Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community. I was thinking to myself as 2023 came to a close on how to reflect just how grateful and so very thankful for the Tribal Council, Members, and Honorary Members I am. I am tremendously thankful for those communities and people who are not yet Honorary Members who choose to support MMDTC and our goals as well. Without you all we could not be what and who we are today as a community.
As I think about the visibility of MMDTC and the progress we have made fiscally, membership growth, BIA, and land and community center goals…. I think about you all. I want you to know you are visible. I see you. I see how you love Mendota, I see the respect you have for Auntie and MMDTC, I see your passion towards healing the past, I see your respect for our Ancestors and our land and waters… And more importantly I feel the love you have for Auntie, MMDTC, and one another. We are a true community.
Reflecting on my own history, spending near 30 years serving Mendota… first behind the scenes supporting my brother, Tribal Chair Bob Brown, and following his passing- as Tribal Chair myself, I have always wanted “better” for my community. I have wanted our cousins and extended family to bridge rifts, I have wanted us to have land, community center, and be recognized since the Treaty of Mendota in 1851 was signed on our very sacred land.
I have wanted to heal from our MMIWs, the sometimes invisibility and abuse visited on our people, and more specifically heal from the past hurts that our ancestors bore on their backs for us to have a better life. During a recent meeting I heard someone say that the reason Mendota did not have a Reservation was because there was only a small “enclave” of
Mdewakanton Dakota Sioux in Mendota at the time. They knew we were here, that is acknowledgement alongside disregard.
I want to move forward with our community with acknowledgement, healing, and the mindset that
Mendota can achieve anything we, the collective community, put our focus on.
Creator has truly blessed our community in endless ways in 2023 and 2024 can only get better.