Tours of Dakota Sacred Sites in the Twin Cites, Update on Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Healing Minnesota Stories (HMS) invites you to join a “Tour of Dakota Sacred Sites” led by HMS founder and co-convener, Jim Bear Jacobs, and Bob Klanderud. The dates are open on a first-come, first served basis. The summer tours date options are:

  • Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 19, 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

The tours center around the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, what the Dakota refer to as Bdote, or “meeting place of rivers.” The tour stops include Fort Snelling, the site of the Dakota internment camp following the Dakota-U.S. War, and Pilot Knob Hill, a traditional burial ground. The tours give you an opportunity to learn parts of Minnesota history that have too long been ignored, and to learn about them from a Native perspective through story telling.

These tours have been very popular over the past two years and quite moving to over 500 previous participants. There is no charge for the tour, but a free will offering is appreciated. It supports Healing Minnesota Stories’ mission to create understanding and healing between Minnesota’s Native peoples and non-Native people, particularly those from communities of faith. We call ourselves Healing Minnesota Stories because we believe in the healing power of stories, such as those you will hear on this tour.

We meet at the Church of St. Peter’s (1405 Sibley Memorial Highway in Mendota). We proceed from there by auto caravan. We limit each tour to about 20 people to make the caravan easy to follow. Wear walking shoes and bring a bag lunch or snack. Registration is required. To register or for questions, email Renee at and give the date you want to attend. If you have a group of 12 or more, we can also schedule a separate date for your group.

Initial Fallout from Final Report of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission

In our May 31, 2015 blog, we reported on the release of the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We now share a June 2 news report from APTN (the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) about some of the initial reactions indicating that much work is left to be done. The headline reads: “[Prime Minister] Harper won’t implement TRC recommendation on UN declaration on Indigenous peoples.” It reads in part:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper signaled Tuesday his government would not be implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People despite a call for the move from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report released earlier in the day.

Harper also refused to back the conclusion of the commission which determined Indian residential schools were a main tool used by the Canadian government in its policy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples.

The TRC released a summary of its final report in a ceremony that included a speech from Chair Murray Sinclair who called on Ottawa to implement the UN declaration as a way to begin reconciliation. Sinclair also said Harper’s 2008 apology for residential school rings hollow today because the federal government has done little to work toward reconciliation.

Click here for the full story.

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