In 1862 an
event occurred, in what is now Minnesota, which had a dramatic impact on the subsequent history of the United States, Canada, and Dakota tribes. The event was the result of federal policy and a newly formed state to remove the Dakota people from their lands and led to the largest mass hanging in US history on December 26, 1862 and the scattering of Dakota people across a region stretching from Saskatchewan to Nebraska. Today, all the people of
the region continue to be affected by this traumatic event.
In Spring, 2005, Jim Miller, a Vietnam veteran, enrolled member of Cheyenne River, and a descendent of the Dakotas who where displaced after the event, dreamt of a series of horseback rides that would bring the Dakota people together, raise awareness to the significance impact still with us from the mass hanging and the surrounding events, and to bring reconciliation among all people of the region so that we may move forward and live in a good way.
Jim’s vision is for riders from all Dakota tribes to ride over 330 miles from Lower Brule Indian Reservation to the site of the mass hanging in Mankato, Minnesota. The ride is in December to honor the men, women, and children who were forced to march across the cold winter prairies either to the mass hanging in Mankato or to a large concentration camp of Dakota families at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. The riders finish at Reconciliation Park in Mankato on the anniversary of December 26.
We take the youth on the ride, so that they may connect with their culture in a more physical way. By being apart of the ride they are connecting themselves with their ancestors and their horse relatives. It is through the ride that they are able to see the beauty in the history and their culture.
In 1862 an