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Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community

Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the Dakota Culture for Future Generations

The MMDTC is a Tribal 501C3 Org

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Mendota Mdewakanton Newsletter

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Our community is starting 2023 calling on the communities we love, pray with, support, and have been a part of for centuries.
We are NOT currently Federally recognized and have been pursuing recognition for almost 30 years. Our time has come again to submit to the government for recognition- in the mean time- we need help…
Our community runs from donations, dues, and various small grants we may be awarded during any given year and many times the grants are only for specialized programs.
Our ancestral lands is used and occupied by individuals who do not place the importance of our long shared and mutual history the Mendota community places on the shared history.
Imagine knowing a non-profit acquired your relatives home and sold it for a dollar and storage rights- without fully researching the significance of the property to ancestral owners…
Then being told by the purchasing party that they would only give full use and rights if we paid market value ($1.5 mil) after they paid $1.
Or knowing that a Federal Law protects the ability to worship and supports freedom of religion… and this same ancestral and direct lineal property- not allowed to have keys. No alarm codes. Not allowed to fill ancestors’ home with smells of foods cooking, not allowed to smudge…
And not permitted to worship when we want to. It has to be convenient for the owners of our ancestral property.
Our office had mold and mice- which we rent- but we must remediate and pay for. We have no gathering place except by requesting permission of current stewards of our ancestral lands.
We have events like language, beadwork, canoe making, culture, Inipi (sweat lodges- our worship/ church where we pray to creator and sing in worship), and Waicipi (PowWow).
For all we do- we ask permission. On our own ancestral lands. What we are fighting so hard for- what we are asking for help with- is the freedom to exist in a place where MMDTC has the authority and rights to exist. Without asking permission to enact our inherent rights. Our constitutional rights.
Where we don’t have to ask permission to have church- or have it limited to 1x per month. We can worship when ever the community needs to and regularly (some people go to church every day! But…we aren’t allowed to).
Where our Elders can gather and guide our youth and help prevent our culture and language from becoming extinct.
Where our members- both honorary and lineal- can gather and share community.
Where the public can come, be a part of, learn from, and understand our beautiful shared story.
Where we can have our PowWow grounds, and sweat lodges with nearby bathrooms for Elders safety… and a small community center for office, classroom, and events for members and the public. Pigs EYE, Kaposia, Pilot Knob, and Mendota sites are all lineal ancestors of our Mendota Dakota family… none of these sites are accessible or granted to us for stewardship and rights of use.
The importance of Federal Recognition is that we can get land… but we have pursued this for 30 years- and may need 30 more as no new tribal agency has been admitted since the 1960s. This fact is unpredictable due to it being a sole authority of BIA to acknowledge us and takes time.
Help us eek out a small corner in our ancestral territory that we have the full rights that others with their land and buildings have. Help our community build a home… in a home we have existed in- side by side- with the greater community for centuries.
We know you have seen prior pleas for help when we do a winter clothing drive for those in need. Or toy/ gift card drives (we helped over 35 families this past year for Christmas!!!)
This, this is different. It is human and ancestral rights. Not to take it all, but to share in it. A small corner of it to continue our mission to our community both internal and global. We have Honorary members worldwide who pay their dues and find ways to support us! We welcome all!
This cause is different. This will help us have a home- where YOU will always be WELCOMED
With gratitude and love,
The MMDTC Community
**More information about Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community (can be found online at our web address above): The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community (MMDTC) is a 501-C3 based in Mendota, MN. Our mission is: “To preserve, protect, and promote the Dakota culture for Future Generations