two-disc set brings together traditional songs, dances, and stories
from the native peoples of southern Minnesota in the form of a
two-day Wacipi (or Pow-wow). The event, recorded here for the
first time, commemorates one of the most egregious atrocities
dealt to the Dakotah, Lakotah and Winnebago peoples by the United
States: the U.S. Dakotah Conflict of 1862 and the subsequent hanging
of 38 people. This field recording is an educational document
of state and national importance. It features respected tribal
elders recounting the history, and performances by some of the
best drum circles in the Mankato (traditionally 'Mahkato') region.
Wacipi is translated to
English as a Pow-wow, a celebration and ceremony to bring together
relatives and friends from great distances. Mahkato is the original
name of the land where the three rivers meet in southern Minnesota.
Today not only do the three rivers meet in this land but also
peoples from all races and religions throughout our great world.
We meet to put aside feelings of hatred and the desire to kill
those who are not like us. We come together to shake each other's
hands and offer friendship. We come together to heal the wounds
inflicted so many years ago. This CD comes out of that feeling
of forgiveness and reconciliation that was taught to us by Dakotah
spiritual leader Amos Owen. Listen to it and remember the hardships
of our ancestors as they forged this great land we call America.
If we forgive those who have wronged us we can break this cycle
of hatred, only then will our people be able to live in peace.
Today all nations look
back at those earlier days and realize the great mistakes and
injustices that were done. We look back and try to learn from
our mistakes. We can not change the past, but we can shape the
future. This is the spirit of the Mahkato Wacipi.
One hundred and fifty years
ago settlers came to the lands of southern Minnesota to escape
war, famine, hardship along with ethnic and religious persecution.
When they arrived here they came into contact with the Great Sioux
nation. Filled with the ideals of manifest destiny most of the
newly arrived settlers saw the Sioux as non-humans, as a plague
to their new land. Taking the lessons of hatred and genocide,
which is why many left Europe in the first place, the newly arrive
settlers began a campaign to take the land from the Native Americans.
In 1862 the Dakotah, Lakotah and Winnebago peoples of southern
Minnesota experience this hatred first hand. These nations had
previously signed away much of their land to the US Government
in return for the promise of food, blankets and gold to be delivered
each year. In the summer of 1862 these payments did not arrive.
The Native Americans asked local merchants if they could buy food
on credit until the payments arrived from Washington. Instead
of Christian understanding and a helping hand from their neighbors;
they were told "Let them eat grass." Hatred and the
feelings of superiority by the settlers brought about this the
first of the Great Sioux Wars.
For more information ...
are offering this Two-CD set to educational nonprofit institutions
... schools, colleges, universities, museums and libraries
... at a nominal cost (to cover shipping and handling).
This Two-CD set can also be
ordered from all record stores. They in turn can order from
these distributors: (US) Bayside, Forced Exposure, Wayside,
Anomalous; (U.K.) Impetus, ReR Megacorp; (France) Metamkine;
(Canada) Verge; (Germany) Lieberman; (Switzerland) RecRec Laden;
We extend our sincere
Amos and Rose Crooks and their family for
their generous donation that made this project possible.
Blue Earth County Historical Society for
their generous donation that allowed us to give this CD to
libraries, schools, colleges and other public places of learning.
Jerry Dearly for his song translations
Amos and Rose Crooks and family, Amos and
Ione Owen and family, George Squirrelcoat, Bain Wilson, Mazakute,
Prairie Island Drum, Lower Sioux Drum, Jerry Dearly, Dick
Fisher, Keith R., Bud Lawrence, Eli Taylor and family, Leonard
Wabasha, Bill Taylor, Colin Wesaw, Ernest and Vernell Wabasha,
Babe Whipple, Jim Bateman, the Casper family, and all members,
past and present, of the Mahkato Mdewakanton Association.