Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
December 25, 1999

Reconciliation - Healing and Remembering
by Paul Barry

The Buffalo Statue in Reconciliation Park, Mankato, MN.

All around Dakota country, perhaps all around "Indian Country," December 26th is remembered. It is a day when ceremonies, to heal and reconcile, are conducted by many families. It is a day to remember a sad day in our history.

For many years, Dakota people have felt uncomfortable in some southern Minnesota towns. They would either go out of their way to avoid those towns or would only pass through those towns at night.

In 1958, something happened that has changed that. Two men met while fishing on the banks of the Mississippi River near Red Wing, MN. Those men, Amos Owen, a Dakota spiritual leader, and Bud Lawrence, a Mankato businessman, became friends.

In 1972, through the efforts of Amos and Bud, a pow wow was held in Mankato. During the opening ceremony of the pow wow, Amos was asked to offer a prayer for the dancers, the singers, and all the visitors. As Amos prayed with his pipe in the center of the dance arena, thirty-eight eagles appeared overhead. It was an awesome site, one that those present that day will never forget.

That same year, the City of Mankato removed a plaque that memorialized the execution of the thirty-eight Dakota from the site of that event.

Again through the efforts of Amos and Bud (and many others), 1987 was declared the Year of Reconciliation in the State of Minnesota. It was time. One hundred and twenty-five years had passed. Some would say that it was long overdue. Many events were held throughout the year to bring the communities closer. Here are a few of these events:

A 100 mile memorial run from Fort Snelling in Minneapolis, the site of the imprisonment of the Dakota after the conflict, to Mankato. Runners ran relays of about two miles carrying an eagle feather staff with thirty-eight feathers. The run began at midnight, after ceremonies to purify and heal had been done, and ended a little over 10 hours later. At the end of the run, more ceremonies were performed to heal and purify the participants. A traditional feast completed the ceremonies.

A statue of a Dakota elder was dedicated outside the Mankato Public Library. (see photo)

An "Education Day" was started in conjunction with the pow wow. Every third grade student from the Mankato school district is bought to the pow wow grounds, Land of Memories Park, to learn from Native Americans about their traditions and history. It was, and still is, a wonderful day for Native Americans and students alike.

The Blue Earth County Museum discovered that it had preserved some of the timbers used for the gallows on that day in 1862. After some discussion about what to do with these reminders of that day, they were disposed of, with appropriate ceremony and tears.

In 1992, the site, of this mass execution, was purchased, by the City of Mankato and named Reconciliation Park, in honor of Amos Owen and his efforts to bring the communities closer together. There is no mention of the event that happened there in 1862. The very large, white stone statue of a Buffalo was dedicated on the site in 1997.

The Mankato pow wow has become an annual event with people gathering in Mankato from many states and Canada. The memorial run has become an annual event. The "Education Day" at the pow wow continues to this day.

This year, once again, friends and relatives will gather on December 26th to remember and honor the thirty-eight. Waonsida.


Here is a prayer that Amos Owen offered for reconciliation.

"Grandfather, I come to you this day in my humble way to offer prayers
for the thirty-eight Dakota who perished in Mankato in the year 1862.

To the West, I pray to the Horse Nation, and to the North, I pray to the Elk People.
To the East, I pray to the Buffalo Nation, and to the South, I pray to the Spirit People.
To the Heavens, I pray to the Great Spirit, and to the Spotted Eagle.
And below, I pray to Mother Earth

to help us in this time of reconciliation."

back to the What's New page

Guys, you can buy trendy toefl exam questions from self test engine here. Now shop here lsat sample questions. To satisfy the loyal customers of our brand we are also offering ccie security practice questions along with gmat practice test exam. In addition to gre exam practice questions.

Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.

Canku Ota is a copyright of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the Copyright © 1999 of Paul C. Barry. All Rights Reserved.