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Photograph by Bradley Stuart Allen / Indybay.org taken at Coldwater Spring, 2008.There is today a broad range of cross-cultural initiatives to teach the painful history of the U.S.-Dakota War, as well as Minnesota and national history. These efforts focus on life today, the survival and resilience of the Dakota people, and collaborative work for education and awareness.

  • Programs to revitalize the Dakota language
  • Cultural awareness trainings and initiatives to bring Native and non-Native peoples together in understanding
  • Emphasis on Indian education reform, with statewide initiative to create better teachers, improved learning environments for Native children, and more inclusive curriculum for all children
  • Learning opportunities for Dakota cultural practices and lifeways
  • Greater access to resources for genealogical and other research
  • Commemorative ceremonies and marches
  • De-colonization efforts and activism
  • Action and awareness around museum collections items
  • Education surrounding past and current assimilation policies, like boarding schools

Local and statewide events

MNHS initiatives

Resources for Further Research: 


A Thrilling Narrative of Indian Captivity: Dispatches from the Dakota War of 1862

Dakota Dictionary Online. University of Minnesota. 

Dakota Wicohan

Minnesota Humanities Center

University of Minnesota Department of American Indian Studies


Krech III, Shepard. Indian Country Today. Nature Transformed. TeacherServe®. National Humanities Center

Lurie, Jon. Dakota Rising. Twin Cities Metro Magazine, 2010.

Wilson, Angela Cavender. What Does Justice Look Like?: The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice, 2008.

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