We commemorate them every day.

Ms. Halverson talks about honoring the Dakota who died in 1862, and a way to teach about this history today.

Audio Chapters

DL: Do you think it’s a good idea to commemorate the events of the mid 1800’s today, in light of the 150th anniversary, which is coming up? Would those Dakota 38 have wanted us to remember them at this anniversary date?

PH: We remember them. We honor them. We commemorate them every day; every day. Every day of my life I thank the creator for the people that fought, for Little Crow, for the thirty-eight plus two that were hung, I honor them. We pray for those ancestors that suffered, that marched (to Fort Snelling concentration camp), that were killed in the massacres, that were killed in the battles. To honor them for the 150 years—we honor them every single day, I honor them.

I think I would like to see a Dakota History Center in the middle of the Twin Cities, probably in Saint Paul where the History Center is, in that area, and have it to honor the Dakota people of Minnesota. To honor those, the 38, the warriors, the people, their homelands – to honor all of this in a place like that. In a place where they can tell their stories. In a place where it’s not going to be put in a book and sold by a non-native person, or the Historical Society, or whatever, in those areas, but from the people. These stories – lots of people have recorded the elders in all the communities. Throughout the years there are recordings, many recordings. Why not have a place for those? Why not have a Dakota History Center, museum, learning center in that? So that’s where I would like to see that come to. Not to have a celebration. What are we celebrating? We’re celebrating 150 years of losing our ways of life, losing our lands, losing our homelands, losing the way we lived, losing…. We have nothing to celebrate. But if they truly – I would like to see that Dakota History Center, Dakota Museum with all of the things that they have in their basements, all those things that belonged to those Dakota people. They don’t have to give it back to us, but let us have access to those. Let us go visit those. Let us see those things that truly mean something to our people. Don’t hide them. Let’s honor the Dakota a little. Let’s honor them. Let’s give them something instead of taking from them.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Pamela Halverson Interviewer Deborah Locke | Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. We commemorate them every day. June 23, 2024. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1388

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