Native tribe to get back land 160 years after largest mass hanging in US history


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  1stwarrior  •  10 months ago  •  14 comments

Native tribe to get back land 160 years after largest mass hanging in US history
Upper Sioux Agency state park in Minnesota, where bodies of those killed after US-Dakota war are buried, to be transferred

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Golden prairies and winding rivers of a   Minnesota   state park also hold the secret burial sites of Dakota people who died as the United States failed to fulfill treaties with Native Americans more than a century ago. Now their descendants are getting the land back.

The state is taking the rare step of transferring the park with a fraught history back to a Dakota tribe, trying to make amends for events that led to a war and the largest mass hanging in US history.

“It’s a place of holocaust. Our people starved to death there,” said Kevin Jensvold, chairman of the Upper Sioux Community, a small tribe with about 550 members just outside the park.

The Upper Sioux Agency state park in south-western Minnesota spans a little more than 2 sq miles (about 5 sq km) and includes the ruins of a federal complex where officers withheld supplies from Dakota people, leading to starvation and deaths.

Decades of tension exploded into the US-Dakota war of 1862 between settler-colonists and a faction of Dakota people, according to the Minnesota Historical Society. After the US won the war, the government hanged more people than in any other execution in the nation. A memorial honors the 38 Dakota men killed in Mankato, 110 miles (177km) from the park.

Jensvold said he has spent 18 years asking the state to return the park to his tribe. He began when a tribal elder told him it was unjust Dakota people at the time needed to pay a state fee for each visit to the graves of their ancestors there.

Lawmakers finally authorized the transfer this year when Democrats took control of the house, senate and governor’s office for the first time in nearly a decade, said state senator Mary Kunesh, a Democrat and descendant of the Standing Rock Nation.

Tribes speaking out about injustices have helped more people understand how lands were taken and treaties were often not upheld, Kunesh said, adding that people seem more interested now in “doing the right thing and getting lands back to tribes”.

But the transfer also would mean fewer tourists and less money for the nearby town of Granite Falls, said Mayor Dave Smiglewski. He and other opponents say recreational land and historic sites should be publicly owned, not given to a few people, though lawmakers set aside funding for the state to buy land to replace losses in the transfer.

The park is dotted with hiking trails, campsites, picnic tables, fishing access, snowmobiling and horseback riding routes and tall grasses with wildflowers that dance in hot summer winds.

“People that want to make things right with history’s injustices are compelled often to support action like this without thinking about other ramifications,” Smiglewski said. “A number, if not a majority, of state parks have similar sacred meaning to Indigenous tribes. So where would it stop?”

In recent years, some tribes in the US, Canada and Australia have gotten their rights to ancestral lands restored with the growth of the Land Back movement, which seeks to return lands to Indigenous people.

A national park has never been transferred from the US government to a tribal nation, but a handful are co-managed with tribes, including Grand Portage national monument in northern Minnesota, Canyon de Chelly national monument in Arizona and Glacier Bay national park in Alaska, Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles of the National Park Service said.

This will be the first time Minnesota transfers a state park to a Native American community, said Ann Pierce, director of Minnesota state parks and trails at the natural resources department.

Minnesota’s transfer, expected to take years to finish, is tucked into several large bills covering several issues. The bills allocate more than $6m to facilitate the transfer by 2033. The money can be used to buy land with recreational opportunities and pay for appraisals, road and bridge demolition and other engineering.

Chris Swedzinski and Gary Dahms, the Republican lawmakers representing the portion of the state encompassing the park, declined through their aides to comment about their stances on the transfer.


jrDiscussion - desc
Professor Participates
1  seeder  1stwarrior    10 months ago

'Bout damn time.

Interesting to me is going to be - will the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) take the lands into trusteeship specially since the lands are coming from a state to a Nation/Tribe.  Until the BIA steps up, the Nation/Tribe will still be in an "Outer Limits" quandary of jurisdiction and sovereignty concerns.  

'Nuthor question is whether or not MN will relinquish it's PL-280 status on the lands being transferred or will they still insist on having primary judicial responsibility?

Glad to see this happening, 'specially when there are other "lands" that states, and Feds, are utilizing that could be easily transferred back to the Nations/Tribes - with BIA concurrence of course.

Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
2  Sean Treacy    10 months ago

. A memorial honors the 38 Dakota men killed in Mankato, 110 miles (177km) from the park

And people protest statutes of Robert E. Lee? 

Professor Participates
3  seeder  1stwarrior    10 months ago

And the 38 hanged were ordered by the great Emancipator Abe Lincoln.

Make sense to me, eh?

Professor Principal
3.1  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @3    10 months ago

Actually, it's 38 + 2 and there is a memorial in Mankato, MN to this hanging. 

The Dakota 38 Memorial at Reconciliation Park in Mankato, Minnesota. Dedicated in 1997, it marks the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history where 38 Dakota Indians were hanged by the government during the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862  

After dangling from the scaffold for a half hour, the men's bodies were  cut down and hauled to a shallow mass grave on a sandbar between Mankato's main street and the Minnesota River . Before morning, most of the bodies had been dug up and taken by physicians for use as medical cadavers.
For the last 17 years, there has been a ride from SD to Mankato MN appx 300 plus miles in the dead of winter  2022 was the last year it will be held.

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  1stwarrior @3    10 months ago
38 hanged were ordered by the great Emancipator Abe Lincoln.

. The sentences of 265 others were commuted. It was an uprising by the Sioux.

Professor Participates
3.2.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.2    9 months ago

And, why would there have been an uprising?? 

How 'bout completely breaking a treaty, forcing the tribes/nations to scavenge as best they could for food, clothing, shelter?  How 'bout moving 1,600 Natives from their lands and OUT OF THE STATE to lands that could not support the people.

Eventually, the Civil War meant the US government had fallen seriously behind on its payments and delivery of food, leaving the Dakota on the verge of starvation. This, combined with an influx of American settlers, meant the Dakota had no way of feeding themselves. The situation would come to a head in the summer of 1862.

On August 17, a Dakota hunting party stole eggs from settlers in Acton Township, located in Meeker County. The raid led to the deaths of five settlers.

In November 1862, the trials of the Dakota held at Camp Release began. Of the 498 trials held, more than 300 men were sentenced to death, for crimes ranging from rape to murder. The defendants were not allowed legal representation and the trials themselves were brief, with some lasting less than five minutes.

Another nearly 1600 Dakota women, children and elderly were held during the winter of 1862-63 on Pike Island, not far from the Bdote and within sight of Fort Snelling. Disease quickly spread, killing hundreds in the camp. In April 1863, Minnesota voided its treaties with the Dakota and sent those living in the camps to Nebraska. Soon after, Congress passed legislation making it illegal for the Dakota to live in Minnesota. It remains a law to this day.

To ensure the Dakota were totally driven from Minnesota, a bounty was created, awarding money for every Dakota scalp turned in. Little Crow, who had led the first raids, was killed and his scalp collected for bounty. His skull was kept as a memento until 1971. The last Dakota executions took place in 1865.

Vic, I'll as simply honest as I can be and it's probably gonna pizz some folks off - but - the United States/Euro governments VOLUNTARILY MURDERED/EXECUTED/MASSACRED MILLIONS of Native Americans simply because the greedy bastards wanted MORE LAND.

Commuted?  My azz.  Typical kangaroo court - no evidence?  no witnesses? He couldn't find a "nice way" to say "we futched up - it's our fault that we can't live up to our words or treaties or "religious" beliefs of treating people as we expect to be treated ourselves."

Futchin' murderer and murdering government - and it's still going on.

Professor Principal
3.2.2  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @3.2.1    9 months ago


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3.2.3  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @3.2.2    9 months ago

Totally concur - and they can not conduct rational, fact based discussions.

Professor Principal
3.2.4  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @3.2.3    9 months ago

This is a paragraph from an article on History.com

From the time Europeans arrived on American shores, the frontier—the edge territory between white man’s civilization and the untamed natural world—became a shared space of vast, clashing differences that led the U.S. government to authorize over 1,500 wars, attacks and raids on Indians, the most of any country in the world against its Indigenous people. By the close of the  Indian Wars  in the late 19th century, fewer than 238,000 Indigenous people remained, a sharp decline from the estimated 5 million to 15 million living in North America when Columbus arrived in 1492. When Native Americans Were Slaughtered in the Name of ‘Civilization’ | HISTORY

I have this quote by MLK framed and on the wall in my den:

“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shores, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles of racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its Indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it.”
Professor Participates
3.2.5  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @3.2.4    9 months ago

A few more "interesting" facts not many non-natives know - 

  • In 2021, there were 9.7 million American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) people; 10.2% were age 65+. 

  • AI/AN people rank at, or near the bottom of, nearly every social, health, and economic indicator.  Lower life expectancy and disproportionate disease burden are a result of inadequate education, disproportionate poverty, discrimination in the delivery of health services, and cultural differences.

  • There are 574 federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native nations. In 2022, there were 324 federally recognized American Indian reservations.

Those 574 federally recognized Nations/Tribes are ALL SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENTS - i.e. nations of their own - who have their own constitutions, by-laws, policies and procedures for the growth and stability of those Nations/Tribes.  And, the 324 reservations are nothing more than the U.S. versions of the Euro Gulags.

However butt - the U.S. government has to approve their constitutions - the U.S. government has to establish laws and regulations for the Nations/Tribes to abide by - the U.S. government has to comply with treaty standards established by the U.S. government to keep rein over the Nations/Tribes.  You wanna make out a personal will?  You can - only after the U.S. government gives you the guidelines for the will to follow.  Presently, there is a 12 year gap in submission rate versus approval rate.

What's the best way to control the Native American population?  Kill'm - and the U.S. government is doing a damn good job of that. 

As Kavika said - we went from a population of over 15 - 20 million peoples to a population of less than 250,000.  Early "colonials" marveled at the beauty of the lands and were amazed at the size of the populations upon arrival to the "New Lands".  Capt. John Rogers on the Mayflower commented in his log that he had never seen so many "lodge fires", that literally lit up the Eastern shores upon his arrival. 

So, why the population decrease??  Why???  'Cause the Euros wanted their lands - period - and they have given us NOTHING in return - except certain death, disease, poverty, lack of educational opportunities, and pure discrimination in so many forms.

Professor Participates
3.2.6  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @3.2.2    9 months ago

Don't know where that came from.

Professor Guide
4  evilone    10 months ago

This news snuck by me. Wow... hopefully this really goes to the tribe and not just in name only.

Professor Participates
5  seeder  1stwarrior    9 months ago


Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6  Trout Giggles    9 months ago

bump it one more time


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