It was on August 17th a century and a half ago that the first victims of the U.S. Dakota War were killed in the Minnesota River valley. The conflict would eventually leave about 600 Minnesota settlers dead, as Dakota bands tried to reclaim their ancestral homelands. Minnesota’s governor at the time called for the extermination of the Dakota people — a remark that Governor Mark Dayton disavowed as he declared Friday a Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation.
Stanley Crooks, today’s chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (an investor in BringMeTheNews.com), says there was disagreement among the 1862 Dakota about whether attacking the white settlers was the best course of action.
Little Crow, the Dakota chief who reluctantly led his people into battle, is the centerpiece of the Star Tribune series commemorating the war’s anniversary. The Minnesota Historical Society has created a website devoted to the war and is also marking the anniversary with an exhibit at the Minnesota History Center.