Dakota Homeland

On December 7, 2011 the following letter was published in a Minnesota county newspaper, the Mille Lacs Messenger.

by Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer

Mde Wakan (Lake Mille Lacs) Image

In 2012 there will be a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the 1862 U.S. Dakota War. In preparation for this coming 150th anniversary several articles have been publish in popular newspapers. The Twin Cites Daily Planet published an article of mine about this topic. It is titled, Healing the Dakota People’s Painful Wounds of Ethnocide and Genocide.

In respect to this topic, I would like to inform Mille Lacs Messenger readers that on a Santee Tribe web site where is the following statement: “The Santee’s defeat by the Chippewas (Ojibwe) at the Battle of Kathio in the late 1700s forced them to move to the southern half of the state which would bring them into close contact and eventual conflict with the white settlers. From that point on, survival for the Santee Tribe would become a daily struggle.”

The Santee Dakota people’s expulsion from their sacred Mille Lacs homeland and consequential escalating conflicts with the white settlers eventually caused the 1862 U.S. Dakota war.

In Anton Treuer’s book, The Ojibwe in Minnesota, he wrote: The Dutch and then the British encouraged the Iroquois to attack various Indian tribes as the Huron and Ojibwe in order to push them westward and obtain exclusive access to their trapping grounds.”

As Europeans settled the East coast, they displaced eastern tribes who then migrated west to get away from the White civilization, and they, in their turn, displaced weaker local tribes.

On the Minnesota DNR web site there is the following statement: “Early White/Indian intervention played an important role in the settlement of the area by white men. The French, instigated fights between the Ojibwe and Dakota so as to ally themselves with the Ojibwe.

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe oral tradition tells that their Lake Superior ancestors who had migrated to Minnesota from the East coast to get away from the White civilization invaded the Dakota people’s Mille Lacs homeland and during the mid-1700s “battle of Kathio” used the White colonists’ guns and gun powder bombs to violently force the Dakota from their sacred Mille Lacs homeland.

I recently created a facebook group named “Regaining the Dakota Oyate’s Mille Lacs Traditional Homeland”. Two leading Dakota activists who are on the forefront of the movement to regain their people’s traditional homelands in Minnesota have joined my facebook group. I believe that this movement will help to heal the Dakota people’s wounds caused by the 1862 U.S. Dakota war.