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Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community

Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the Dakota Culture for Future Generations

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Inipi or Sweat Lodge

The recovery of ceremonies, spiritual practices and culture is of vital importance to the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community as it is for all Indigenous peoples. Together they represent a traditional Dakota way of life that can be a gift for all Minnesotans and all peoples. The Inipi Ceremony is among the seven rights given by the White Buffalo Calf woman so that the people might live. While it is a ceremony with immediate benefit to participants, the Inipi also reflects a way of life, calling for humility and through the seven directions an awareness of being part of something much greater than oneself. All the elements of the Inipi are sacred, connecting participants to the Creator and the spirit present in all existence. The “grandfather” rocks are sacred. The water poured on the rocks is sacred. Steam from the water rises up as prayers to the Creator. Walking in the way of the Inipi provides a path for healing of body, mind, spirit and emotions, touching all four realms on the journey toward wholeness and relationship with the Creator and all people. The Inipi is not only an ancient and vital sacred tradition for the Dakota people; it is a way of life that offers promise to all people.

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