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Many sides to US-Dakota War story

February 6, 2013

To the editor: In response to Matt Boisen’s letter on Feb. 3. Dear Mr. Boisen, I am writing in response to your letter regarding the suffering of settler’s during the US-Dakota Wa....

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oteron

Feb-06-13 9:38 AM

My reaction to the original story lies not as much in the fact that some settlers suffered during the conflict, but in that most of us settlers, did not continue to live with the legacy of racism and disenfranchisement to which native people were subjected. Facts: Native women were being sterilized without their knowledge until the 1970's. Native men's average life span is currently age 46 to 48. Children up through the 1950-60's were rounded up on buses without parents consent and sent hundreds of miles away. They did not see their families from ages 5 to 18, were beaten for speaking their own language, and were sexually abused with abandon by unethical priests and nuns. They go "home" and no longer fit in, nor are they white. The constitutional amendment protecting freedom of religion did not apply to you...until 1978. If you dissented with your agent, you may be sent to an insane asylum (american gulag. Google Canton asylum for insane indians). These examples are b

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oteron

Feb-06-13 9:41 AM

Now, when we white folks can proclaim that kind of historical damage, I will agree with the original writer. Just a little research and history allows to understand the full history of our treatment of Native People. It is critical to Minnesota History to understand that our government wanted that conflict to happen, ans was successful in creating and achieving that end.

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familyandfriends

Feb-06-13 4:28 PM

Thank you for bringing up the friendly Indians, who were called 'traitors,' had their homes and possessions burned and their lives threatened in 1862, and are still called 'traitors' today. That's another piece of the story which needs to be told, just as the experiences of the white refugees and soldiers need to be told. They too were innocent victims of a war whose cause was complex but largely brought on by the conflicts over the U.S. Government Indian Policy. That complexity is also evidence of the diversity of experience for everyone who was alive at the time, whether white, mixed blood or Indian, and how necessary it is to hear all stories and viewpoints -- not just the 'Dakota as victim' stories typically told. Imagine the reaction of this retelling of history to the hundreds of settlers who were killed and captured in surprise attacks by some of the Dakota at the beginning of the War. These early pioneers to Minnesota were only looking to make a better life for their famili

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familyandfriends

Feb-06-13 4:29 PM

families, and their sacrifice is being forgotten and sometimes purposefully ignored. The story of the settler victims has virtually disappeared. Perhaps the full story is being innocently overlooked; perhaps there is an interest in downplaying the war’s impact on the settlers in an effort at political correctness. Whatever the reason, there is no question that an accurate telling of our collective history is the only way for true learning, healing and reconciliation to occur. Family and Friends of Dakota Uprising Victims is a group that was formed for the 150th anniversary of the 1862 Dakota Uprising in August, 2012. Their mission is to give voice to those descendants whose families were affected by the uprising and advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. A website (****dakotavictims1862****) was created to publish stories written by descendants of these settler victims. There is also a companion Facebook page.

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Jeffersonian

Feb-06-13 5:37 PM

Mr Mack: I didn't make it clear that I was speaking for other members of Family and Friends of Dakota Uprising Victims. But you missed my points. Regardless of the later atrocities visited upon the Dakota, the deaths of 600 settlers were not justifiable and should not be forgotten. Your charge of "inaccurate notions" gives me pause. The facts: Settlers were here legally. Taoyateduta, hesitant or not, DID lead his people to war. Many Dakota did not have the desire to become American-style farmers, regardless of how Taoyateduta lived. Terror, in the form of sudden attacks on an unarmed populace, was actively promoted in order to rid the state of settlers. Terrorism vs. genocide? It was suggested as food for thought. You express the common fallacy of supporting the Dakota view by listing all that was done to the Dakota after the war. I repeat, nothing that happened prior to 1862 warranted 600 dead settlers and should not be excused away by later events.

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Hippie

Feb-06-13 7:15 PM

What if tomorrow thousands of illegal Mexicans came to New Ulm and took our homes,food and livelihood away from us and sent us to a none liveable area of the state. That's kind of what happened back then.

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Hippie

Feb-06-13 7:18 PM

Now with the gun ban we wont be able to protect ourselves from these intruders.

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oteron

Feb-06-13 11:10 PM

So, lots of disagree again with FACTS. I guess no one has the where-with-all to look these FACTs up. These FACTS do not diminish that white settlers lost their lives...because our government wanted it to happen. The REALITY is, that we got the land, the resources. Native people got poverty, a suicide rate 70%HIGHER than the rest of us, just to mention a bit more. There is two sides to the story, but we STIL got the better end of the deal.

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oteron

Feb-06-13 11:12 PM

The settlers story has NOT disappeared...it was well taught in the school I went to...it was the native story that was ignored. I don't get how it was ignored. Makes no sense.

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EaglesFan

Feb-07-13 8:14 PM

Haven't they already kind of done that Hippie?

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