Posts Tagged ‘Hidden history’


Chris Mato Nunpaby Chris Mato Nunpa, PhD
retired Associate Professor of History at Southwest Minnesota State University and author of the upcoming (Sept. 2019) The Great Evil: Genocide, the Bible, and the Indigenous People of the United States

 

One hundred and fifty-six years ago, on November 07-13, 1862, 1,700 Dakota People, primarily women, children and elders, were force-marched 150 miles from the Morton & Redwood Falls area in southwestern Minnesota to a concentration camp at Ft. Snelling, near the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The cold weather that we [in Minnesota] have been experiencing during this November reminds us, the descendants of the survivors, of this act of Genocide perpetrated by the State of Minnesota, the military, and its Euro-Minnesotan citizenry.

Dozens upon dozens of Dakota People were murdered – shot and killed, or bayoneted, or frozen or starved to death on this march! One of my grandmothers was stabbed in the stomach by a saber-wielding white soldier on horseback. Her “sin” was not understanding an order given by a white soldier in a foreign language, English. A friend of mine (now deceased) had a grandmother who was shot and killed because her “sin” was needing to relieve herself, for modesty’s sake, in the woods, along the forced-march route. We know not how many of our women were raped and murdered along the way, and we know not how many of our elders and children who lagged behind because of age, sickness or physical weakness, were shot and killed.

The commander of the troops who enforced the march was a Colonel William Rainey Marshall, who later became a governor of Minnesota, and he has a street in St. Paul, a county in northwestern Minnesota, and a town in southwestern Minnesota, named after him – Marshall! Colonel William Rainey Marshall was a Genocidaire, a perpetrator of Genocide. Forced marches are what Genocidaires do. Forced Marches are genocide, as I learned this from other Genocide scholars when I belonged to the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

The savage cry of “Extermination or Removal” was uttered many times, publicly, even in a speech to the state legislature, by the then-Minnesota Governor, Alexander Ramsey. He was referring to the extermination of the Dakota People of Minnesota, and the removal of the Dakota People from our own Dakota homelands, Mini Sota Makoce, ”Land Where the Waters Reflect the Skies.” In an atrocity six months prior to the November forced march, on May 04, 1863, “Removal” was authorized by the Minnesota state legislature, and 1,300 Dakota women, children and elders were forced from our homelands.

The forced march of 150 miles and the forcible removal were just two of a number of genocidal acts, and various crimes against humanity, perpetrated by the State of Minnesota and its Euro-Minnesotan citizenry, on the Dakota People of Minnesota. However, the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Ghoul Society (aka the Minnesota Historical Society), and white academia continue to suppress the truth about what was done to the Dakota People of Minnesota and who did it.

We need the help of our white allies and supporters, and the help of other Indigenous Peoples, to help us Dakota People of Minnesota in our struggle to have the truth told! After 156 years (since 1862), it is time for truth-telling!! Namayahunpi kin he nina piwada! “Your listening to me is greatly appreciated!” Ho, he hecetu do! “Yes, it is so!”