An Alternative History of the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862
A Forthcoming Novel by Colin Mustful
Two cultures met in Minnesota—one striving to maintain its homeland and traditions, another trying to create a life of freedom, prosperity, and abundance.
Samuel Copeland was just a teenager in 1859 when he and his family left Vermont for the promise of a new life in Minnesota. But life is harder and more dangerous than he expected. Devastated by the loss of his father at the hands of Indians and seeking to protect his brother, Samuel joins the Union army believing he’d be safe on the frontier. WaabiskiMakwa was still a boy in 1850 when his father perished at Sandy Lake because of the negligence of U.S. government officials. Seeing his way of life crumbling around him, Waabi leaves his home to mourn his father and seek a new way, one that includes his lost-love, Agnes. Seeking their own solutions, neither Waabi or Samuel could see the collision course their paths had been set upon by a world in conflict. War was in their future and it was inevitable. But when war breaks out, and their cultures collide, so do their individual paths. Though they can’t stop the war, maybe they can help each other.
Fueled by years of mistreatment and seeing the opportunity provided by the War with the South, Dakota spokesman Little Crow and Ojibwe leader Bagone-giizhig, join forces in an effort to reclaim their Native lands. Spurred by early victories over Fort Ridgley and New Ulm, the Dakota-Ojibwe Alliance heads north to Fort Snelling, the beacon of American strength in the region. Once thought impenetrable, the fort and its small group of volunteer militia fights to hang on when a new enemy arrives from the West.
In Reclaiming Mni Sota, the true and lasting results of history are challenged. Acting as individuals, striving to protect ourselves and our families, it’s impossible to understand our role and impact in the much larger march of time. The United States is an abundant, beautiful land filled with wealth and opportunity, but its history is scarred by inequity and loss. What if the defeated became the victors? What would that mean for the world today and how would that illuminate the wrongs of the past?
In connection with the release of Reclaiming Mni Sota, author Colin Mustful has created the RECLAIMING MINNESOTA INDIGENOUS WRITERS GRANT. Mustful and his press, History Through Fiction, will raise funds to give one Indigenous writer the financial support to pursue a career in storytelling. Funding efforts will begin June 1, 2023 and end December 31, 2023. Learn more about this fundraiser effort by visiting the grant’s GoFundMe page here: https://gofund.me/d53ad1ac
Do you represent an organization that would like to advocate for the Reclaiming Mni Sota Indigenous Writers Grant? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org