Upcoming Dakota Sacred Site Tours; Support the “Remove the Stain Act;” Upcoming ‘Decade of Water’ Summit

In this blog:

  • Upcoming dates for Dakota Sacred Sites Tours
  • Signatures needed supporting ‘Remove the Stain’ legislation, repealing Medals of Honor awarded to soldiers at the Wounded Knee Massacre
  • Registration open for Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples Decade of Water, August 13-15, in the Black Hills

Upcoming dates for Dakota Sacred Sites Tours

The next opne dates for Healing Minnesota Stories’ Dakota Sacred Sites Tours are Saturday July 20t, 10 a.m. -2 p.m., and Sundays August 18 and September 29, both from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Jim Bear Jacobs (Mohican) and Bob Klanderud (Dakota/Lakota). lead the tours, which have proven to be informative and transformational for participants. The tours offer an opportunity to learn about Minnesota history from a Native perspective through story-telling and experiencing the sites in silence/meditation/reflection. We visit sites located around confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, what the Dakota refer to as Bdote, or “meeting place of rivers,” including: Fort Snelling State Park; the Dakota Internment Camp following the The Dakota-U.S. War, and Pilot Knob Hill, a traditional burial ground.

There is no charge for registration. However, a collection will be taken at the conclusion of the tour, and participants are asked to consider a donation in the range of $40-$75 per person. To register, please email the Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, the Minnesota Council of Churches director of racial justice, here.

Support the “Remove the Stain’ Act

Healing Minnesota Stories friend Sheldon Wolfchild passed along a request asking people to sign a petition to support the “Remove the Stain Act” and help spread the word. If passed, the “Remove the Stain Act” would remove the names of the 20 cavalrymen who are currently on the Medal of Honor Roll for their participation in the Wounded Knee Massacre. The Act wouldn’t require any surviving medals to be returned, nor the denial of any benefits. All the recipients are long since dead.

Rep. Denny Heck of Washington got the ball rolling on the legislation, according to the petition.

“The congressman had been reading about the massacre and was bothered by the fact that the 20 Medals of Honor had not been rescinded,” his spokesperson Bobby Mattina told CNN. “He sees this bill as helping Native American communities with healing, but also protecting the prestige of the Medal of Honor and removing the stain of the massacre from its legacy.”

One of his cosponsors is Rep. Deb Haaland, who earlier this year became one of the first Native American women to ever serve in Congress. “This bill is particularly significant because it’s a marker,” she said in a speech announcing the bill’s introduction. “It shows that our country is finally on its way to acknowledging and recognizing the atrocities committed against our Native communities.”

According to a Wikipedia summary:

The Wounded Knee Massacre (also called the Battle of Wounded Knee) was a domestic massacre of several hundred Lakota Indians, mostly women and children, by soldiers of the United States Army. It occurred on December 29, 1890, near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: Čhaŋkpé Ópi Wakpála) on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the U.S. state of South Dakota, following a botched attempt to disarm the Lakota camp. …

In 2001, the National Congress of American Indians passed two resolutions condemning the military awards and called on the U.S. government to rescind them.

Click on the links above for more details.

Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples Decade of Water Summit, Aug. 13-15

This year’s Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples Decade of Water Summit will be held Aug-13-15 in Rapid City in the Black Hills.  This is the third such annual summit and the first one held outside of the Twin Cities area.

The Summit is an indigenous-led initiative that is dedicated to elevating indigenous voices on water and human rights.

Keynote presenters for this year’s conference include:

  • Victor Douville (Lakota) who will speak on traditional Lakota water culture and its practices in today’s society
  • Kelsey Leonard (Shinnecock) who will speak on indigenous water governance
  • Tim Mentz (Standing Rock) who will speak on natural law
  • Ta’Kaiya Blaney (Tia’Amin First Nation) will speak on the implementation of the UN Declaration of Rights for Indigenous Peoples.

Registration is a very affordable $60 if you sign up before Aug. 1. The hotel accommodations are $124 for conference participants. For more details, click on the link above.

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