FREE SPEECH ZONE | Dakota Activists Drop Banners to Challenge Proposed Funding for Fort Snelling

February 15th, 2010St. Paul, Minnesota — About 20 Dakota activists and supporters interrupted the Minnesota Historical Society’s “Rally for History” this afternoon at the state capitol. Protesters are challenging the proposed funding for the renovation of Historic Fort Snelling, the site of a 19th century concentration camp where several hundred imprisoned Dakota people died of starvation and disease while 1,600 were held by US troops during the winter of 1862-1863. Protesters say that by choosing to preserve the fort, Minnesotans are choosing to celebrate a symbol of violence against native people.Activists with the Take Down The Fort Campaign unfurled several banners above and in front of the podium, and denounced Fort Snelling as a symbol of genocide while the speakers pressed on with their rally. Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. Continue Reading

Responses to Statehood provides venue for Native perspectives

Waziyatawin (Angela Wilson), Ph.D., a Dakota scholar and activist, and the Minnesota Humanities Center in Saint Paul have collaborated to create Responses to Statehood, an online video project that showcases Dakota and Ojibwe perspectives on Minnesota statehood and the sesquicentennial. The project began airing in November when the Humanities Center began launching new videos weekly. New videos will be uploaded through December. See videos on MN Humanities Commission siteWaziyatawin (Wahpetunwan Dakota) hosts each chapter, providing video commentary on such topics as: the forced removal, ethnic cleansing and genocide, boarding schools, allotment, and the seizure of Native lands. All videos and support material can be found under “Special Projects” on the center’s main website. Continue Reading

Indian princess in Duluth?

Early this fall, the Indian Scout and I fell into a conversation about the City of Duluth-owned stained glass window that the Duluth mayor wanted to sell to ease the budget deficit. A Duluth artist created the 115-year-old window called “Minnehaha” that shows an Indian woman.The window and its cash value had been the object of a flurry of newspaper and television stories that described the window Indian as a “princess.” After much hand-wringing, Duluth city officials decided against selling the window. Still, I wanted to see the princess at the center of such contention. Let’s scoot to the big city and find her, I urged the Scout. So off we hastened to the Duluth Depot by way of Skyline Drive that runs parallel to Interstate 35. Continue Reading