Off the Shelf: 2017 U.S.-Dakota War Commemoration Week

Off the Shelf

The Brown County Historical Society (BCHS) and New Ulm Public Library are partnering to offer a week of events commemorating the U.S.-Dakota War on Aug. 21-27. This year marks the 155th anniversary, and events include historical and cultural presentations, as well as a New Ulm City Cemetery tour.

On Monday, Aug. 21 at 5 p.m. at the BCHS Annex (2 N Broadway), Lower Sioux Agency staff will present “Tipi Life and Dakota Culture” and “Buffalo Learning Trunk.” Learn about tipi customs, tipi construction and items found inside a tipi. Also learn the vitality of the seasonal rounds and migration patterns followed by the Dakota people, and gain a broader view of the Dakota value system and representation. A tipi provided by the Lower Sioux will be on display outside of the BCHS museum throughout the week. The learning trunk offers hands-on identification of different parts of the buffalo and how important this food source was to the Dakota. Staff will interpret the Dakota philosophy about utilizing each part of the buffalo and describe the traditional buffalo hunt.

A number of historical presentations will be offered throughout the week, including the “Lunch and a Bite of History” series. All “Lunch and a Bite of History” presentations are at the BCHS Annex, unless otherwise noted. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch to the presentations.

• Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 12 p.m. – Curt Dahlin: “And More on the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862”

• Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 12 p.m. – John LaBatte: “Dakota-Settler Relations Prior to the Dakota War of 1862”

• Thursday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. at Springfield Public Library (120 N. Cass Ave.) – Dave Martinka: “The Dakota War in Pictures.” Program partners include Springfield Public Library, Springfield Area Historical Society, and SouthPoint Financial Credit Union-Springfield.

• Friday, Aug. 25 at 12 p.m. – Corinne Marz: “Three Vignettes: Remembering Clara Wilson, Susan White, and Otis White / President Lincoln’s 1861 Special Order and the 1862 Executions / Indian Agent Charles E. Flandrau’s Census and Accounting Records”

On Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at New Ulm Public Library (17 N. Broadway), the “Daniel Hoisington Film Festival” will include a screening and discussion of “Stories of the Dakota War,” including the premiere of “Turner Hall 1862” and “The Truth in History: Remembering Elden Lawrence.” Hoisington is a writer and historian who created the BCHS museum’s third-floor Dakota War exhibit.

Lower Sioux Agency staff will present “Traditional Dakota Gardening” on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Dyckman Free Library, Sleepy Eye (345 Main St. W). Staff will present on Dakota- and European-style gardens, including the use of traditional tools and techniques, and explore the planting styles of both Dakota and Euro-American settlers. The Dyckman Free Library is a partner for this program.

On Thursday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at New Ulm Public Library, Glenn M. Wasicuna will present “The Dakota People Then and Now,” an overview of Dakota people through history, who they are today, and why it is important to share the Dakota story. Wasicuna was born on the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation reserve near Griswold, Manitoba. After a career as a journalist in Canada, he became an educator focusing on Dakota history and culture. He has taught Dakota language at the four Dakota communities in Minnesota, as well as Sisseton Wahpeton College and Tiospa Zina Tribal School in South Dakota, and Gustavus Adolphus College. He also serves as the Lead Translator and Cultural Advisor for a scholarly edition of Dakota letters funded by a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Wasicuna currently teaches Dakota language at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

On Sunday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m., there will be a free guided walking tour of the Pioneer Section of the New Ulm City Cemetery. Attendees should gather at the Cemetery’s Maintenance Building.

All programs are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.

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