Mash-ka-Wisen Sobriety Powwow

Native communities grapple with what it means to honor their U.S. military veterans

Emmy Her Many Horses said there are a great many reasons why Native people choose to join the U.S. military, but that regardless of their motivation, they should be recognized for having served.

“For Native people there is a difficulty in trying to remain true to who we are from our tribal nations, and who we are in society today. For some, I think, they are seeking to be that warrior. For others, the military may be their best chance at getting away from their homes and finding opportunity. The military is also an opportunity that will help pay for school, allow travel, and teach new skills. Many are following a family tradition, a cultural tradition.” Continue Reading

Mendota PowWow

The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota’s annual celebration of survival

Like many Dakota stories, this one begins in 1862, at the outset of the U.S.-Dakota War: Little Crow’s starving warriors took up arms against white settlers in the Minnesota River Valley in attempt to regain their former empire. The disastrous six-week campaign resulted in defeat for the Dakota, who were rounded up, imprisoned in concentration camps, hung in mass and forced from the state under threat of death.
Oral tradition, documentaries, dramatizations, books and articles have told this story repeatedly—and yet the bulk of Minnesota’s non-Indian population remains happily unaware of the genocide upon which the state was established. Where education systems have failed to convey the truth, events like the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Wacipi provide rich opportunities for Minnesota’s citizenry to learn their history. Continue Reading