Dakota Gathering at Fort Snelling Friday-Saturday; Coldwater Spring Management Plan Open for Public Comment

This Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, will be the third annual Dakota Gathering at Fort Snelling at Bdote.

The Gathering will be a commemoration and a celebration. May 4th marks the anniversary of the Dakota exile from their homeland following the Dakota-U.S. War of 1863, likely the most tragic day in Dakota history. Women, children and elder Dakota were forced onto steamships, sent down the Mississippi, up the Missouri River, and dropped off at Crow Creek, a desolate reservation in the Dakota Territory.

The title for this year’s Gathering is: Dakhóta Omníčiye: Thokátakiya máni pi (Dakhóta Gathering: Keep Moving Forward). According to the website, the event will “mark our return & assert our continued presence on this sacred land where the rivers meet, we invite all Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Oyáte to return home, unify in peace, and share community knowledge, teachings, and stories with one another.

Events are free and open to the public.

Wakan Tipi Center Community Conversation

One of the events at the Gathering will be a community conversation about the proposed Wakan Tipi Center, on Friday, 2-3 p.m. at Fort Snelling at Bdote. According to the Facebook Event Page:

The topic of the conversation will be the Restoration efforts at Wakan Tipi and Dakota Mounds Park in St Paul, and the Interpretive Center soon to be constructed at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. The center will provide cultural interpretation for Wakan Tipi cave, the Dakota Mounds at Indian Mounds Regional Park, and Kaposia Village at Pig’s Eye Lake.

Presenters will be Maggie Lorenz (Pabaksa Dakota), Wakan Tipi Center Director, Crystal Norcross, community organizer with IN Equity (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota), and Architect for the Wakan Tipi Center Project, Sam Olbekson of Full Circle Indigenous Design (White Earth Ojibwe).

Coldwater Spring Management Plan Open House

The National Park Service (NPS) continues to revise the Coldwater Spring Management Plan, including how to “maintain respect for the sacred and cultural aspects of this place,” its April Newsletter said.

An informal community walk/self-guided tour is set for Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.-noon. NPS staff will be stationed around Coldwater Spring to provide information and answer questions about changes to the landscape and provide information on the deteriorating status of the spring house and reservoir.

A Coldwater Spring Management Plan Open House is set for Tuesday, May 14, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Northern Star Scouting Camp Base, 6202 Bloomington Road, St. Paul. People will have the opportunity to ask questions and comment on the plans. There will be activities for children and refreshments.

Comments on the Coldwater Spring Management Plan are due by May 31. For more, click here.


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