Upper Sioux Community (Pejuhutazizi Oyate)

The land called Pejuhutazizi Kapi (the place where they dig for yellow medicine) has been home to the Dakota Oyate (Nation) for thousands of years. The Dakota have always occupied the area bordering the Minnesota River Valley except for in the late 1800s after the U.S.-Dakota War. At that time the Dakota were either exterminated, forcibly removed to reservations located elsewhere, or voluntarily fled to avoid harm. 

 
Many Dakota died during those difficult years. Some of those who survived the forced removal defied the state and federal governments by not remaining on the assigned reservations located outside of Minnesota, but rather chose to return to their ancient homelands  in the MN River Valley. In 1938, 746 acres of original Dakota lands in MN were returned to the people and the Upper Sioux Indian Community came into existence. 
 

 

Stories

Title
The more history that’s shared about what happened, the better
Barbara Anderson | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Ways of Commemorating, Education
Keywords: History, Savage
The main goal was to rob us of our spirit
Barbara Anderson | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Fort Snelling, Resilience
Keywords: Fort Snelling, Humor
How can you feel good about yourself when you’re restricted?
Barbara Anderson | Oral History
Theme: Life Today
Topics: Identity
Keywords: Effects of Discrimination, Racism, Shame, Endurance
I want to be that person that changes.
Barbara Anderson | Oral History
Theme: Culture and Values
Topics: Dakota Culture and Values, Dakota Life Today
Keywords: Spiritual Leaders, How to Treat People
Chief Red Iron
Barbara Anderson | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862, Factions
Keywords: Red Iron (Ma-za-sa), Lac qui Parle, Chief
They wanted to make sure that the Indians behaved
Barbara Anderson | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Dakota and Settler Relationships, Reservations, Boarding Schools
Keywords: Reservations, Boarding School, Drinking
I want to be an example of what they had to endure.
Barbara Anderson | Oral History
Theme: Growing Up
Topics: Growing Up, Boarding Schools, Relatives
Keywords: Consequences, Perceptions, Relatives
They tried to keep me in school.
Judith Anywaush | Oral History
Theme: Growing Up
Topics: Growing Up, Education, Poverty, Dakota Language
Keywords: Education, Poverty, Projects, Language, School
“If you just give me a hand up, I know that I can make it.”
Judith Anywaush | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Fort Snelling, Family in 1862, Crow Creek, Punitive Expeditions, Abraham Lincoln, Mankato Hangings
Keywords: Fort Snelling, Expendable, Wechankpeotowe (Many Stars Woman), Crow Creek, Soup, Bishop Whipple, Steamboat, Military, Soldiers, Survival
Do those people really know that they can stay there; they don’t have to come back.
Judith Anywaush | Oral History
Theme: Life Today
Topics: Dakota Life Today, Jobs, Inter-Tribal Relationships, Repatriation
Keywords: Jobs, Enrollment, Repatriation
Why don't you guys just forget about it
Judith Anywaush | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Ways of Commemorating, Commemorative March
Keywords: Discrimination, Police, Fort Snelling, March
“If you want to speak to me, speak to me in my language, or your language.”
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: Education
Topics: Growing Up, Dakota Language, Dakota in White Systems, School Subjects, Military, Travel
Keywords: English Language, Dakota Language
We Dakotas for some reason, were always drawn back to where we were born and raised; we’re drawn back.
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: Connection to Land
Topics: Dakota Land
Keywords: Home
All they could see was Indians fighting whites, and yet at the same time, they didn’t know why
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862, New Ulm
Keywords: Accuracy, New Ulm
The more they let them in, the more they wanted.
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Treaties, Dakota Land, Repatriation, Minnesota River Valley
Keywords: Homeland, Japan, Germany, Iran
We made a pact, and you’re not paying it.
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Treaties, Dakota Land
Keywords: Treaties, Annuity, Acton, Starvation, Land
We never got one red cent from the state or the U.S. Government to start the casinos
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: Life Today
Topics: Dakota Life Today, Casinos, U.S. Government
Keywords: Casino, Subsidies
I wish I had a list of all the things that the Dakota initiated
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: Cultural Contributions to U.S.
Topics: Dakota Culture and Values
Keywords: Medicine
It’s written by white folks. None if it is ever written by Dakota.
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Ways of Commemorating, Perspectives on 1862, Camp Release, Wood Lake
Keywords: Accuracy, Camp Release, Wood Lake
I didn’t really care to even be seen there.
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Fort Snelling
Keywords: Fort Snelling
It happened in this country, too, but you never hear that, never
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Genocide
Keywords: Greed, Lying
We lost every acre, and we weren’t even involved in the war.
Dean Blue | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Abraham Lincoln, Punitive Expeditions
Keywords: Bounty, Scalping, Upper Sioux
I wish that I could have a home on the reservation as well as my kids and grandchildren
Donna Korstad | Oral History
Theme: Hopes for the Future
Topics: Reservations
Keywords: Reservations
The things that we did have, we appreciated them
Donna Korstad | Oral History
Theme: Growing Up
Topics: Growing Up, Play, Holidays
Keywords: Play, Holidays, Money
Dakota is a way of life, a manner in which you walk through this world
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: Life Today
Topics: Dakota Life Today, Dakota Identity
Keywords: Identity
It’s probably one of the saddest places in this local area.
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Birch Coulee
Keywords: Spirits
They don’t see colors in people; they just see people in people
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: Education
Topics: Dakota in White Systems, Education, Racism
Keywords: Discrimination, School
A place where a spirit used to be but the spirit is gone
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: Connection to Land
Topics: Dakota Land
Keywords: Camp Coldwater
They are looking there and they don’t really truly understand what happened.
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Mankato, Mankato Hangings
Keywords: Land, Mankato
“We did this in a manner that was good. Why is this happening to us?"
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Treaties, Spirituality, Fort Snelling
Keywords: Fort Snelling, Savage
Even in my family there were differences.
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862, Factions, Camp Release
Keywords: Dakota Factions, Red Iron (Ma-za-sa)
You can’t be around old Dakotas without learning about the spirituality of things.
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: Growing Up
Topics: Growing Up, Dakota Culture and Values, Spirituality, Storytelling, Christianity
Keywords: Culture, Values, Storytelling, Dakota Spirituality, Christianity
The gate opened just to show the people that the land was still there.
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Fort Snelling
Keywords: Fort Snelling, Spirituality
Akicita
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Wood Lake, Dakota Social Structure
Keywords: Wood Lake, Warrior, Akicita
Unless you have something better to offer, then you cannot judge people
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Fort Snelling
Keywords: Desecration
A lifetime of learning for a minute of understanding.
Dallas Ross | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Fort Ridgely, Spirituality
Keywords: Spirit
I can still picture that area where my two aunties were dropped off at the road
Carrie Schommer | Oral History
Theme: Growing Up
Topics: Growing Up, Identity, Racism
Keywords: Storytelling
There were about five of us that started school in Granite Falls with not a word of English
Carrie Schommer | Oral History
Theme: Education
Topics: Dakota in White Systems
Keywords: Kindergarten, School
When you go there you feel all of the things that have happened there
Carrie Schommer | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Fort Snelling
Keywords: Fort Snelling, Commemoration
What I knew was the truth
Carrie Schommer | Oral History
Theme: Education
Topics: Oral History
Keywords: Dakota in White Systems
What they taught there had nothing to do with our tribes
Carrie Schommer | Oral History
Theme: Education
Topics: Boarding Schools
Keywords: Boarding School, Flandreau
Mazamani (Iron Walker)
Carrie Schommer | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862, Marches
Keywords: Fort Ridgely, Fort Snelling, Tiospaye

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.