Memorial Set for Medicine Bottle’s 1865 Hanging on Nov. 11; This Day in History: Native American Languages Act of 1990

Many people know about the 38 Dakota men hung at Mankato, Dec. 26, 1862, following the Dakota-U.S. War, the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Less well known are the two Dakota men — Medicine Bottle and Shakopee (aka Little Six) — who were hung at Fort Snelling nearly three years later for their participation in the war. They had fled to Canada but were kidnapped and handed over to U.S. authorities.

Filmmaker Sheldon Wolfchild, Medicine Bottle’s grandson, plans to hold a memorial for Medicine Bottle on the 150th anniversary of the hanging on Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be held at Fort Snelling, near the car turnaround (where the hanging took place). (Note: Go to the Fort itself, not the visitor’s center area where the concentration camp remembrances are held.)

Also that week, Wolfchild will hold film screenings and lecture at the Fort Snelling Theater from Sunday to Tuesday (Nov. 8-10), noon – 4 p.m. He will show both his recently released documentary: Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code and a shorter documentary on the Mdewakanton Dakota creation story. Wolfchild will lecture on “Where did the bodies go?” reflections on his efforts to find Medicine Bottles remains. Research shows that the bodies of both Medicine Bottle and Shakopee were quickly unearthed and removed for medical research.

This Day in History: Native American Languages Act of 1990

On this day in history, October 30, 1990, Congress passed the Native American Languages Act. According to Wikipedia: the act repudiated past policies of eradicating Indian Languages. The Act said that the United States “declares to preserve, protect and promote the rights and freedoms of Native Americans to use practice and develop Native American Languages”. Wikipedia goes on:

Congress found convincing evidence that student achievement and performance, community and school pride, and educational opportunity are clearly and directly tied to respect for, and support of, the first language of the child.

The Native American Language Act of 1990 has been a counterbalance to the English only movement and has been the catalyst for bilingual education on the reservations.

 

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