About Healing Minnesota Stories

American Indian people have suffered deep trauma over many years, losing their land, language and culture, and all who call Minnesota home are the lesser for it. Healing Minnesota Stories” is interested in helping bring attention to those historic and ongoing wounds and supporting a healing process.

Under the umbrella of the Saint Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN), Healing Minnesota Stories includes American Indian and non-American Indian people, congregations, higher education institutions as well as both religious and secular organizations from across the state. 

We believe that we all still need healing, and healing is doable. The broken promises and wrongs done to American Indians have been invisible. Churches and all faith communities can play a key role in promoting and experiencing healing by opening themselves to their own history, making amends, and listening to the stories of Native people.

Our group is calling itself “Healing Minnesota Stories” because we believe in the healing power of stories. Stories heal because they make invisible pain visible. The healing goes two ways, from the listener to the storyteller, and from the storyteller to the listener.

Our initial work is focused on the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 and its aftermath. The war “followed years of broken treaties and promises to the Dakota people,” according the Minnesota Historical Society. The war’s aftermath resulted in the largest mass execution in U.S. history—38 Dakota men were hung near Mankato on the day after Christmas 1862. Then Gov. Alexander Ramsey issued a decree stating all Dakota people "must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of Minnesota." Many Dakota were expelled or killed. This is part of the larger history of genocidal treatment of American Indian people. To this day, many of these wounds remain unaddressed.

Our focus on the Dakota-U.S. War is only a beginning. We hope to continue to bring together American Indian and non-American Indian people to share stories and increase awareness of the value of American Indian language, culture, and our shared history. We hope through the sharing and retelling of stories, we can create new more positive ones.

In the coming months, we will share opportunities for individuals and congregations to participate in this healing work, through tours, dialogue events and a speaker’s bureau for congregational and other group presentations/dialogues.

Several ways you can participate in this important work

Support the Dakota Commemorative March (Nov. 7-13), especially on Nov. 13 in the Twin Cities, by joining the walk and/or attending the closing ceremony at Fort Snelling State Park (see “Nov. 7-13, Support the Marchers” [link to http://www.healingmn.blogspot.com/p/nov-7-13-support-marchers.html] page of this site.

• Request an American Indian speaker to come and present at your adult forum/class or other congregational or group event to tell some of the suppressed history, as well as personal stories of the on-going trauma experienced in their community.

• Arrange a tour of local American Indian sacred sites from the Dakota perspective. The tour covers Pilot Knob Hill, a traditional Dakota burial ground, and Fort Snelling State Park, the site where 1700 Dakota women, children and elders were held in brutal conditions during the  winter of 1862-1863, before their deportation.

• Attend the October/November SPIN Fall Series which is an effort to bring healing and reconciliation within the Dakota community that is currently underway. 
• Donate money to support the dialogue series and other educational opportunities, as well as outreach to the Native American community through acts of service such as feasts during their commemorative events.

There are many events going on across Minnesota regarding the Dakota-U.S. War. We invite you to learn about these educational options going on in 2012 and 2013 by going to: http://www.usdakotawar.org/events and reading the events section.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your comments!