It's Minnesota's own original sin. And on its sesquicentennial, Minneapolis is set to revisit the events of the 1862 Dakota War in the next installment of the city-wide One Minneapolis One Read project.
150 years ago, the territory's original Dakota inhabitants clashed with settlers and soldiers over food, land rights, and broken treaties. When it was all over, almost a thousand whites and Native Americans were dead and the Dakotas had been expelled from their ancestral land. At the end of the war, 38 Dakota men were executed at Fort Snelling for attacks on settlers.
Friday morning, the Minneapolis City Council chose "Spirit Car: Journey into a Dakota Past," by local author Diane Wilson, as the next book in the reading series. Wilson's maternal great-great-grandparents took part in the war and were subsequently expelled to South Dakota and Nebraska along with other Native Americans, and her book recounts her relatives' experiences in the war and after as they struggled to survive.
“I’m thrilled that One Minneapolis One Read will continue this year with the excellent and timely selection of ‘Spirit Car’ by Diane Wilson,” said Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden (Ward 8). “I look forward to continuing our conversations about history in the context of race, encouraging all in our community to learn about a tragic part of our history, the Dakota War of 1862.”
The One Minneapolis One Read project was started by South and Southwest Minneapolis residents in the wake of the Kingfield , including Glidden and several Kingfield residents. Book clubs, libraries, and neighborhood organizations will be encouraged to read the book, and join in city-wide discussions starting in October 2012.