Mendota community URGENTLY seeks assistance

Subject: Update from Mahpiya duta
  Date:  Thu, 30 Dec 1999 21:15:06 -0600
  From:  power4u <>

From:  Jim Anderson (Mahpiya duta) 

To all our friends and supporter's:

What MnDoT did to the Four Sacred Oaks is what this State and Federal 
Government have been doing to the Native People for 500 years.  Our 
Elder's told us that this area from the Falls to the Spring was an 
area that was a place where our people would gather for ceremonies 
and to bury their dead.

Where the Veterans' hospital and administration building now sits was 
Taku Wakan Tipi, or Gathering Place of the Spirits.  Later it was 
called Morgan's Mound by the settlers who also used the area for 
burials.  Our Relatives' remains were removed from this area and we 
aren't sure where they are EVEN today.

The spring, Camp Coldwater Spring, is a block south of where the Four 
Oaks are on the eastern edge of Taku Wakan Tipi.  Dakota oral 
teaching tells of unk-teh-he, the Water Spirit, would travel from the 
Mendota, where the waters meet, up to Taku Wakan Tipi.  This area was 
and is very sacred to the Dakota People.

MnDoT killed these Four Trees on December 11, 1999.  They took a slab 
from the West tree to the University of Minnesota to count the life 
rings.  Now they say the trees aren't old enough to be significant to 
the Dakota People, they counted 137 life rings.  So that puts the 
trees at being planted in 1862, the same year they exiled most of the 
Dakota People out of this state.

The Hotop Report says "the trees couldn't have been planted by any 
Dakota because of the exile."  All the Dakota were absent from the 
area.  Well that's not true.  During the conflict 360 Settlers were 
saved by the friendlies, or the farmer Indians.  These settlers were 
the women and children.  These Dakota, our relatives, were kept by 
General Sibley on ten acres of land on top of modern day Mendota. 
Our relatives numbered about 100 and were rewarded for saving the 
Settlers by being able to remain at Mendota.  The Dakota have always 
been in Mendota and planted these marker trees, to mark the place in 
Mother Earth where other trees had been before they were cut down by 
soldier's or settler's.  So when they tell us this place is not 
sacred to our people it's the same thing they have always done with 
their Cultural Genocide of the Native Peoples  of this Turtle Island.

They tell us what is sacred to us.  Well we have 12 hours of video 
taken at the State Capitol of Elders who through oral teachings tell 
how this area was and is very important to our history and culture. 
What we have done for the last 16 months is to stand our ground to 
try to protect this whole area from the Falls to the Spring because 
of history written by the first missionaries and oral history from 
our Elders, we have the truth and the history of this place on our 
side.  They think they have "won" something.  We have only the 
Creator to answer to for what has happened to this place.  This fight 
is not over, the Spring is still in grave danger of being destroyed 
by their destruction.  Please keep supporting us in our struggle to 
get the land around the Spring protected and returned to the Dakota 
Nation for an interprative center where people can learn about our 
history and culture, where Elders can come to remember our Relatives 
that have lived and died in this place.

What they continue to do is Ethnic Cleansing.  They say it is legal, 
but it is immoral and wrong.  It is also wrong to continue to punish 
the Dakota by trying to completely erase our History and Culture. 
This cannot be tolerated anymore.  All we ask is to let us use this 
small but very important area to keep it the way it is, to help our 
people heal and relearn what was almost taken from us.

So in the name of all the Dakota, I thank each and everyone that has 
understood what this has always been about, the area is sacred to the 
Dakota and should be told to ALL people.

                                        Pidamaya Kodas

                                        Mahpiya duta
                                        Jim Anderson  12-28-99

                                        651-452-4141 office

live simply

The Mendota are a non-profit organization and reciepts will be supplied for
those who request them.  Send donations to:
Checks or money orders may be made payable to MMDC.
     Mendota Medewakanton Dakota Community
     PO Box 50835
     Mendota, MN 55150
Contact numbers are Linda M. Brown - (612) 944-7290 FAX (612) 944-0105 or Bob Brown, Chairman - (612) 576-9686 FAX (612) 576-0632 We ask that everyone send what they it money or supplies. PLEASE HELP PROTECT OUR SACRED SITES!

AICS main page

Send comments to: Webmaster