Separated by the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers, the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin have a well-established, recognizable boundary. But the borders of each state, and the boundary that separates them, was not always certain.
In her book Appropriate, Paisley Rekdal shows us that we must confront cultural appropriation, not as a moral judge or caretaker, but as an open-minded participant both in the world we live in and the one we are striving to achieve.
Wowinape, the son of Dakota leader Little Crow, was captured by U.S. forces in late August of 1863. He was then put on trial before a military commission headed by Henry Hastings Sibley.
In this audio excerpt from the novel Resisting Removal: The Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850, Indian Agent John Watrous meets face to face with Benjamin Armstrong at Crow Wing, Minnesota, shortly after all of the Ojibwe’s annuities have been destroyed by a fire.
On August 27, 1832, the Sauk leader Black Hawk (Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak) surrendered to the U.S. 6th Infantry at Prairie du Chien, ending several months of fighting in what is now called the Black Hawk War. The war was a consequence of the U.S. government’s Indian removal policies that continually forced Native peoples from their homes to places further west.
While some, like Sully and Sibley, declared the 1863-1864 punitive expeditions a success that punished the Sioux for their role in the Dakota War and protected the Minnesota settlements, others saw it as an expensive endeavor that unnecessarily punished innocent people.
I recently had a great conversation with Oanh Jordan, founder of Tiny Triumph Co. and the host of Tea Talks. Check it out to learn more about my experience as a writer, publisher, and founder of my own press History Through Fiction. Click here to watch on Instagram.
Looking back, it has become clear that Sibley’s punitive expedition was sparked by chaos and panic following the U.S. – Dakota War and fueled by the pervasive racist ideology of the time.
On December 26, 1862, 158 years ago today, thirty-eight Dakota men were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota, in what remains the largest mass execution in United States history. The hangings were ordered by President Abraham Lincoln in response to the series of battles between U.S. and Dakota forces commonly known as the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862.
Like most federal policies regarding Native populations throughout American history, the Nelson Act was marked by fraud, corruption, and greed. It unilaterally broke all previous treaties with the Ojibwe and further impoverished already desperate communities.