By Ricki Walters, Regional Diversity Trainer/Investigator
2012 commemorates the 150th anniversary of the US-Dakota War of 1862. The war resulted in numerous causalities on both sides of the conflict, as well as forced removals of the Dakota. The war began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota, and ended with a mass execution of 38 Dakota men on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota. Two additional Dakota leaders, who escaped to Canada, were later captured and executed at Fort Snelling.
For several years now, horseback riders representing several tribes of Dakota memorialize the 38 + 2, by riding for 16-days and 330 miles—from Brule, SD to Mankato, MN. Smooth Feather Productions made a wonderful film that documents the Dakota 38 + 2 ride of 2008. You can find Dakota 38 airing on PBS, or at: http://www.smoothfeather.org/dakota38/
For more information on the history of the Dakota conflict and the hanging of the 38, check out http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/dakota/dakota.html
Every year, the ride ends at Reconciliation Park in Mankato, MN. If you’d like to be part of the 2012 commemoration, you can find more information at: http://www.visitgreatermankato.com/Dakotaconflict150.php