Mendota community URGENTLY seeks assistance
Subject: Update from Mahpiya duta
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 21:15:06 -0600
From: power4u <email@example.com>
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.
Jim Anderson 12-28-99
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 can...be it money or supplies.
PLEASE HELP PROTECT OUR SACRED SITES!
AICS main page
Send comments to: Webmaster