Dakota Elders Put Ceremonial Burning of “Scaffold” Wood on Hold to Build Consensus

Here is the latest update on Scaffold, released June 5 on behalf of the Dakota elders:

The wood has been taken off the “Scaffold” structure by Straightline Construction led by Dakota construction workers. who worked over the weekend. All of the wood has been removed, and placed in rolloff bins that will be taken off site to a safe, secure location owned by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The rest of the deconstruction work will be completed by a local company to take out the steel and the concrete. The steel will be recycled.
The process of taking the rolloff bins off site began this afternoon.
The signs are taken off the fences and those who made them can request them back. (American Indian Center)
The main focus was to get the structure down.Now the main focus will shift to what happens to the wood.
Recognizing that more people from the Dakota community wish to participate in this process and it takes time to call a meeting, there is no elder meeting this week regarding the next steps for the wood. They wish to take time, slow down and allow more voices.
Until the larger Dakota Oyate is able to meet, there will be no actions except to keep the wood stored in a safe, secure location owned by Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
Therefore,
1) there is no formal ceremony at Fort Snelling this week.
2) there is no formal burning of the wood from the sculpture this week.
In the end, the elders may decide that the wood should not go to Fort Snelling, The elders may decide that the wood from the sculpture should not be burned and instead should be used/disposed in some other way. Or they may choose to proceed. But this decision will be made it their way and their time at the site of their choosing.

The Dakota Oyate from Minnesota and those in exile seek an opportunity to weigh in and make decisions in an attempt to create participation first and to then build consensus.

Recent News Coverage

Well, the controversy around the Walker Art Center’s “Scaffold” sculpture made the international news. Harper’s Bazaar Arabia ran the story Paying Their Dues: The Walker Art Centre Controversy (June 4, 2017). A list of past news stories and Healing Minnesota Stories blogs are archived on the “Walker Art Center” tab on the blog.

Here are recent additions:

Star Tribune

Minnesota Public Radio

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