Honor Dakota Sacred Sites, Mother Earth, During World Peace and Prayer Day, Wednesday, June 21

World Peace and Prayer Day events in the Twin Cities start at 6 a.m. at Indian Mounds Park, St. Paul. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

World Peace and Prayer Day events will be held all across the world on the Solstice, June 21; here in the Twin Cities people are invited to participate in a daylong event where they will travel to various Dakota sacred sites and related events.

In an email to the Minnesota Indian listserve, Juanita Espinosa gave the following schedule of local events:

  • Indian Mounds Regional Park at 6:00 a.m. – Beginning in the east. Indian Mounds Regional Park is home to six Native American burial mounds high atop 450 million-year-old limestone and sandstone bluffs overlooking downtown Saint Paul. The mounds serve as a reminder of Minnesota’s history for future generations. At least sixteen burial mounds originally existed on the bluff top. Nineteen more were located further down the bluff above Wakan Tipi, also known as Carver’s Cave.
  • Powderhorn Park at 9:00 a.m. Gather for the Mni Wiconi Kids Run, which will be held in honor of Wastewin Gonzales and sponsored by Juanita Vargas, her daughter. Wastewin was born in her water sac; she came into the world complete.  She walked on as a young mother,  17 months after the birth of her daughter,  who now wishes to carry on with her mother’s desire to encourage young ones.  This run is for children 12 and under.  It is not a race.  Juanita’s aunties will assist her in preparing the young ones for the run around the lake in Powderhorn Park.
  • Nicollet Island at 12:00 noon, near Owamni Falls. Nicollet Island is the only inhabited island on the Mississippi River. This forty-eight-acre wonderland is a bucolic refuge, hiding right under the nose of Downtown. Many don’t even notice it as they drive over the Hennepin Avenue bridge to Northeast Minneapolis on the East Bank of the Mississippi, but it contains many marvelous secrets.  Here we will offer prayers to the waters.
  • Cold Water Springs at 3:00 p.m. Mni Owe Sni served as an important crossroads for Native Americans.
  • Oheyawahi/Pilot Knob at 6:00 p.m. Known to Dakota people as Oheyawahi, “the hill much visited,” Pilot Knob is a place of distinctive historical, cultural, and environmental importance, a sacred site, a landmark of Minnesota’s beginnings. Pilot Knob is located on the east end of the Mendota Bridge, south of Highway 55 in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. A portion of the hill is included in Acacia Park Cemetery. Here we will end our day, if you wish to bring a dish and/or a gift to share with others, you are welcome to do so.We will set up tables and gather at the circle directly north of the parking lot.

For more on the history of World Peace and Prayer Day, keep reading. Continue reading