Insight News

Feb 13th

A Dakota perspective on Minnesota history

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9780873518697mhsx gilmanMni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota by Gwen Westerman and Bruce White examines the history of Dakota people and their deep cultural connection to the land that is Minnesota eons before the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and in to today. Much of the focus on the Dakota people in Minnesota rests on the tragic events of the war, largest mass execution in U.S. history, and forced exile, but the true devastation of removal cannot be understood without a closer examination of the history of the Dakota people and their close connection to the land that is Minnesota.

The authors interviewed many Dakota people including elders and historians for the book, enriching the text with multiple voices and perspectives. Gwen Westerman was recently featured on "This American Life" in the episode "Little War on the Prairie".

The City of Minneapolis recently designated December 26, 2012-December 26, 2013 as Year of the Dakota: Remembering, Honoring, and Truth-Telling. Part of the resolution notes: "That every effort must be made to ensure that the Dakota perspective is presented during the year 2012-2013, through discussions at forums, events, symposia, conferences and workshops". Mni Sota Makoce is an excellent introduction to a Dakota perspective on the history of the state of Minnesota.

Also new and of interest re. the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862:

Henry Sibley and the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 is a new short e-book by Rhoda Gilman excerpted from her larger biography Henry Hastings Sibley: A Divided Heart. The e-book focuses on the rifts and crises leading up to the 1862 war in Minnesota as keenly represented by then governor Henry Sibley.

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