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      2012 Dakota 38 Memorial in Mankato

      • 2012 Dakota 38 Memorial Photo #1
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      December 10, 2012 - December 25, 2012

      Monday   1:00 PM - Tuesday 4:00 PM

      Highway 169/60 West
      Mankato, Minnesota 56001

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      2012 Dakota 38 Memorial

      On December 28, 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota, thirty eight Dakota men were marched in single file, to a scaffold guarded by 1,400 troops in full battle dress. They were paraded before a crowd of citizens gathered to witness the largest mass execution in the history of United States as ordered by President Lincoln.  This same week,  President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
      While a Dakota death song filled the air, the pull of a single lever ended the lives of 38 Dakota men. Later, two more Dakota men would be hanged at Fort Snelling. 

      This Memorial Ride honors the Dakota 38+2.

      This site is currently being edited.
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      SCHEDULE OVERVIEW  (Sign up for Twitter @2012Dakota38Memorial  )

      Dec. 10-19-  Leave Crow Creek. Details to be posted later.

      Dec. 20 (Mon.) – Arrive Birch Coulee Battlefield/Morton, MN
      Horses will be corralled at Strong Family Ranch/Birch Coulee Park.

      Dec. 21 (Tues.) – Rest Day.
      Horses corralled at Strong Family Ranch/Birch Coulee Park.

      Dec. 22 (Wed.) 5:30 p.m. –Riders Feast–

      Dec. 23 (Thurs.) 9 a.m. – Ceremony at Birch Coulee Battlefield.
      Riders leave Birch Coulee/Morton to Fort Ridgley.
      5:30 p.m. - Return for evening meal
      Horses corralled at Strong Family Ranch/Birch Coulee.

      Dec. 24 (Friday). 9 a.m. Fort Ridgley to Courtland.
      Horse corralled at New Ulm Battery, New Ulm.
      6p.m. Meal

      Dec. 25 (Sat.) 9 a.m. Courtland to Mankato, Land of Memories Park.
      Horses corralled at New Ulm Battery, New Ulm.
      5:30 p.m. Evening Meal

      Dec. 26 (Sun), 9:30 a.m. Riders leave Land of Memories Park to downtown Mankato,
      10 a.m. Ceremony.

      Return to Land of Memories Park to greet Mankato Runners.

      Noon, (approx.) Final Honoring Feast for Riders and Runners, St. Peter Church, No. Mankato.



      HISTORY 1862

      The history marks a tragic time for Minnesota, when policies were set in place causing ripple effects are still felt today.  In 1862, approximately 1700 Dakota women, children and elders were force marched 150 miles across the state to the stockade winter camp at Fort Snelling.  The entourage traveled approximately 20-25 miles a day.  It is important to note that most of the Dakota on this walk were noncombatants who voluntarily surrendered to the US soldiers,  and many had actually helped to protect, defend or even rescue the white settlers.  But that autumn, Minnesota Governor Ramsey declared that all Sioux were to be “exterminated or forever removed from the borders” of the state, which led to their exile, beginning with this "Minnesota Trail of Tears" November 7-13, 1862.

      While the Dakota  families were marched to Fort Snelling, their men were being held at Mankato in preparation for trial. The day after Christmas, Mankato became the site of the largest mass execution in US history as 38 warriors were hanged and the remaining prisoners were removed from Minnesota.  Two other Dakota warriors would be hung at Fort Snelling, for which the memorial ride is named to honor the 38+2.

      By contrast, during the Dakota Commemorative March that just concluded and the Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride, the public has been invited to join them in prayer, to help provide for the needs of those who are riding, to help ensure that the story has an opportunity to be heard, and to symbolically provide your support to the Dakota/Lakota community by being respectfully present.

      Those who come with a good heart and who wish to help set the stage for healing are  welcome to support the walkers as they pass or to join anywhere along the route
      . This registration process will greatly help event organizers to ensure for the provision and safety of the group and to communicate with you directly about event details as the date gets closer. 


      *This site is written to assist those who are working on organization of the ride to help guests come to the event better prepared, more aware of what is culturally appropriate and of safety protocols.


      • Feel free to invite others to come with you!
      • The daily ride will start shortly after sunrise (approximately 7 AM) with a morning prayer and will end before dark.  The group will cover approximately _____miles each day.  For safety reasons, some portions are covered by caravan vehicles.  The riders are travelling on behalf of their people, so there will be portions with large numbers and others with smaller numbers. The ride starts when it starts.  It ends when it is over.  The people who should be there are there.  Please set aside the need to count how many people who are there and to keep track of time.  Come and pray and show your support by being present.
      • The elders will make all decisions are made by them and implemented by the community.  Thank you for following their lead and allowing them to host the ride in their way.
      • Keep your conversations quiet and respectful to prevent distracting from the sacredness of the march
      • Join the ride behind the lead horses and allow others to be at the place of honor near the front of the procession.  You may stand as supporters to welcome the riders as the pass or you may file in behind and walk too.
      • Participate in the ceremonies as you feel appropriate and as you are invited.  Take the tobacco in your hand, and after sharing a prayer, leave the gift there. 
      • "Smudging" is the act of purification by sage smoke and is a necessary portion of ceremony.  
      • If possible, women should wear a long skirt over your walking clothes
      • Women who are in their time of the month are asked to not participate in the ceremonies and to walk as far as possible behind the group.
      • Children are invited to participate;  all adults to help guide the positive and respectful behavior of any children who are guests of the ride; allow Dakota families to discipline their own children.
      • This is a reflective time for many; if you try to start a conversation and you are not met with conversation, kindly respect their space rather than trying harder.
      • Please turn off your phones and/or ask others to refrain from calling you; Take the opportunity to unplug from technology and to allow others to have a quiet walk
      • Do not take photos during the ceremonies and please don't take photos/video of anyone without permission.  Members of the Press will be provided with a press kit when then check in at Rotary's Support Van.
      • It is inappropriate for guests to bring any pets.
      • For those with limited mobility, you may meet the ride at various locations and participate in the ceremonies.
      • Non Dakota are asked  to NOT drive behind the procession vehicles -- there are plenty of cars already.  You can drive ahead and meet the group at the next stop.  Ask the Rotary van for directions

        • Dress in layers for the weather 
        • Wear sturdy shoes that will keep your feet dry
        • Monitor your foot care regularly; check in with medical volunteers earlier rather than later for all first aid care.  Early intervention is very important
        • Wear and bring additional multiple pairs of socks
        • Chapstick is necessary for lip care; consider sunscreen or other moisturizer for uncovered skin
        • Wear a winter hat that covers your ears, gloves, scarf to protect from the wind and cold.  There are portions of the ride that are away from stores, so plan ahead.
        • Bring  multiple sets of gloves/hats/socks to swap out as they get wet and put in a backpack marked with your name that can be placed in the Rotary Van/trailer or you may carry your bag
        • Carry your own refillable water bottle and drink regularly to stay hydrated
        • Bring your own snacks.  Maybe keep a few granola bars, trail mix bag or some fruit in your coat pocket.  You can leave your lunch meal in your backpack in the Rotary van.  Depending on the group size each day, there may be plenty of food and you may be invited to share the meal but please plan to be self-sufficient.
        • The group will ride in formation on the shoulder of roads; Be aware of passing traffic and listen for directions about how many horses across may ride.
        • A traveling port-a-pottie trailer follows behind the group so simply drop out of the procession as needed. 
        • In case of emergency and the need to reach someone on the march, call 612-964-2984 and we will do our best to help get a message to your party
        • If you are sick or hurt, go to the Rotary Van who will contact the first aid staff.
        • Arrange for your own transportation to meet up with the group and for your own pick up
        • Rotary is providing event insurance and your group/school/troop can get a copy of the certificate by contacting Stephanie Smith at
        •  All children under the age of 18 are to be accomanied by a parent or have a permission slip with emergency contacts signed by a parent/guardian
        • For those non-indigenous guests who wish to participate in multiple days, please arrange for your own overnight accommodations; Depending on the group size each day, there may be plenty of room and you may be invited to join the evening meal and to stay overnight but please plan on being self-sufficient
        • We will post regular map updates so that people can find the march and support the participants in prayer
        • Register for the day(s) that you plan to join the march by selecting the date on the pull down menu above.  No printed tickets are necessary but kindly check in and out with the Rotary van each day so that we can help account for everyone.

      Where to Meet Up on December 25



      Where to Meet Up on December 26



      All Dakota 38+2 Memorial  Ride and Mankato Run participants are invited to go to the closing feast at the conclusion of the ceremony.
        A shuttle bus is available to bring people to the church.   It is VERY important for  GUESTS to RSVP if you plan to attend the feast through this registration form to help organizers plan.



      There is no cost to participate, however a monetary donation would be welcomed to assist with event expenses.  There are also in kind donations that would be helpful (the registration page has several suggestions for food/beverage items).  You may leave a cash donation with the van driver of the Rotary Van during the ride -- all cash will be applied directly to event expenses.

      Donations are needed for:

      Hay, feed, tack for the horses. 
            11/16: Thank you Land-o-Lakes/Purina for donating 4 tons of feed!!
      Gas and fuel for the suport drivers
      Food for the riders
      Emergency funds for the Elderly and for vehicle/trailer break-down


      Below is the information on two groups that are helping to collect funds from multiple sources and then collectively offering to pay for evebt expenses.  Desigation "Healing Minnesota Stories" on the memo line for the first two options which will pool resources to assist with the event.

      St. Paul Area Council of Churches
      Checks are to be mailed to 1671 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul MN 55105.
      Their primary focus is for November 13 as the march comes into the Twin Cities
      Bloomington Daymakers Rotary Foundation, (Incorporated 5/17/2005) This  501c3  nonprofit will offer a tax receipt for your donation) Checks are to be mailed to 7500 Flying Cloud Drive, Suite 800, Eden Prairie, MN 55344.  OR you can visit a Bloomington Daymakers Rotary meeting Friday mornings at the Hilton Hotel 7:30 AM at France and 494 and leave your donation with the club officers. 

      OR you may donate directly: Mail a check written to "Dakota 38 Memorial Ride"  to Dacotah Bank, 201 Main Street PO Box 177, New Effington SD 57255 


      Please consider making a financial contribution to support Healing Minnesota Stories as it support of the Dakota Commemorative March (food for feast, transportation for “marchers,” etc.) You can do so on-line at   click “Donate” and type “HMS” in the“Dedicate this gift to….” line.



      You are  encouraged to view the documentary film Dakota 38   prior to the ride to help understand the significance and to help prepare.  There are multiple viewings in Minnesota during November and it is also posted on Youtube.   There are also many events/educational opportunities: go to for Minnesota listings.



      Guests & Press:
      For more information about route and timetable, contact Stephanie Hope Smith .
      Email:  (Emergency Contact during the event: 612-964-2984) 
      Check in with the Rotary Van during the event to get additional information and to pick up press kits.
      To reach Healing Minnesota Stories:

      Twitter: @Dakota38MemorialRide for location updates


      Dakota/Lakota participants can get the most helpful  information from Lead Riders:

      Peter Lengkeek
        PO Box 485, Fort Thompson SD 57339   

      Julian D Boucher
        10135 463rd Avenue, Hankinson ND 50841
      605-637-5256   605-268-6983

       Darwin Strong  507-430-5246


      Cooks/Meal volunteers – Angie O'Keefe(507) 430-0680 or Yvonne Leith (320) 226-6994.

      Mankato Run Info: Dallas Goldtooth, Minneapolis, 507-210-4679.





      The violence was a culmination of years of broken treaties (1805, 1851, and 1858), late annuity payments, and the refusal to extend credit or provide food and supplies to the starving Dakota people.  The conflict included a variety of forced geographical and cultural changes.  Government agents and Missionaries hoped that the Dakota could be taught to live as farmers and to worship as Christians. However, friction between Dakota and whites grew as white settlements pushed into Indian hunting grounds.

      Several days before the 17th day of August 1862, when the storekeeper Andrew J. Myrick remarked: “If they are hungry, let them eat grass".   Four Dakota youth  killed five settlers on August 17, 1862near Acton, MN that set into motion a series of events and reactions to subsequent events.  Although this history has various names such as "Sioux Massacre,"  "Sioux Uprising,”  "Dakota Conflict," and  "US-Dakota War of 1862,"  the results are well documented as the people were exiled and the traditional way of life ended.

      At the war’s conclusion, nearly 1700 Dakota women, children and elders were interred at Fort Snelling until May 1863 before being exiled.  Several hundred Dakota men were tried by a five man territory commission. On November 5, 1862, 303 Dakota men were found guilty and were sentenced to death.  After the trial, Henry B. Whipple, a Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota met with President Abraham Lincoln on behalf of the condemned Dakota men. Upon listening to the Bishop and personally reviewing the trial records, Lincoln commuted the death sentence for all but 38 of the prisoners; These remaining 275 men were later transported to a Prison camp near Davenport Iowa.

       Those who survived internment at Fort Snelling until May 1863 were transported down the Mississippi River and up the Missouri Rivers to Crow Creek, South Dakota.


       Chief Big Eagle said many years later, “It seemed too sudden to make a change . . . If the Indians had tried to make the whites live like them, the whites would have resisted and it was the same with many tribes across North America.

      Categories: Religion & Spirituality

      Event details may change at any time, always check with the event organizer when planning to attend this event or purchase tickets.
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