The idea was to trace the route used for the forced movement of the Dakota and Winnebago People who, after the conclusion of the Dakota Conflict of 1862, were removed from Minnesota and relocated to Crow Creek, SD.
The purpose of the trip was to remember what happened to these people and acknowledge the suffering that took place at that time of Minnesota history. The riders wanted to let the people of Crow Creek know that they have not been forgotten.
The group of riders never could have imagined the events that would unfold from that trip. Along the more than 1,800-mile route, the riders met and were embraced by many descendants of those people that were exiled from Minnesota in 1863.
When the riders arrived at their final destination in Crow Creek, they were welcomed by over 200 people who gathered in appreciation of the arrival of the “Iron Horse Riders.” A small group of people from the Crow Creek area had transformed a grassy area within the Old Fort Thompson grounds into a camp from long ago with teepees, a fire pit and meat racks made from tree limbs for drying the meat. Families pitched in to feed everyone and a small group Pow Wow was held around the fire pit.
The riders were so moved by the experience that they decided to adopt the name Crow Creek Long Riders and continue with an annual commemorative motorcycle ride.
The people of Crow Creek saw this as a teaching opportunity and decided to continue a tradition to welcome the riders and create a glimpse of what life was like long ago to teach the children about the true ways of their people.
This grassroots initiative has evolved as a humanitarian effort to inspire hope and encouragement and provide a substantive contribution in support of the civil well-being of people of the Crow Creek Indian Reservation.
Crow Creek Long Riders invite you to participate in recognizing Minnesota’s American Indian Month. Support the American Indian Community by celebrating their ancestry, their tribal heritage, as well as that of future generations.
2009 marks the fourth annual ride to take place June 17 through June 20, 2009.
Crow Creek Long Riders will host two separate benefit fundraisers in the Month of May to coincide with Minnesota American Indian Month. All proceeds will go to Project Head Start and the Boys and Girls Club Youth Center of Crow Creek Indian Reservation.
Saturday, May 16, 2009, 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Music Festival at Black Bear Crossing, Como Park Pavilion
1360 North Lexington Parkway, St. Paul, Minnesota
Live Music, Ceremonial Drums, Traditional Singers and
Dancers and Guest Speakers
Saturday, May 30, 2009, 2:00 p.m. to Close
Barbeque at J & S Bean Factory
1518 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota
Live Music, Barbeque, Silent Auction, Guest Speakers