“After the deadly winter of 1862-3, the 280 Dakota men convicted the previous fall are brought to a compound in Iowa, where they will spend three years before being exiled. The 1,400 Dakota at Fort Snelling are sent by steamboat down the Mississippi and up the Missouri to new reservations. Crow Creek Reservation in Dakota Territory is a terrible place—bone dry and not at all suitable for farming. “It is the dirtiest country I ever saw,” writes missionary John Williamson. “The dust rises in the tent and settles all through the woods so that you cannot get rid of it. Even the river is full of it.” Because of the military’s poor planning, extreme rationing is implemented as soon as they arrived. The death rate is high. A federal law, the Dakota Expulsion Act, abrogates all Dakota treaties and makes it illegal for Dakota to live in the state of Minnesota. The act applies to all Dakota, regardless of whether they joined the war in 1862. This law has never been repealed.”*
Lord, how often it happens. We covet our neighbor’s house. We covet our neighbor’s wife. We covet our neighbor’s land or property. We are not content with what we have. We worship our longings or belongings instead of You; the Rightful King of the Universe! Have mercy on us! The American nation told the Minnesotan nation what to do with the Dakota nation.
I feel great shame when I read of the Dakota Expulsion Act. I believe that the Dakota involved in the war in 1862 may justly be expected to pay some consequence or restitution to Minnesota. However, the idea that Dakotans’ not involved in the war should be forever expelled from Minnesota, from their native homeland, is unconscionable. Lord, the Dakota Expulsion Act has not been repealed in the government of men, but I appeal to You this day, Saturday May 14, 2016, to repeal it in the heavenlies. Will You make this injustice right also in my state and nation? Lord, although the Dakota were wronged, will You also forgive them any counter judgments against the U. S. government, the states of Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakota Territory, and the nations of people within them?
Will You cleanse and heal our lands of this sin against You? You have said:
“Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.” Exodus 23:9
“’Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.’” Leviticus 19:15
Lord, bless this people with mass visions of You. Bless them to forgive the sins against their ancestors, and to view themselves humbly as recipients of Your kingdom. May they add their crucial voice to the “Song of the Lamb”! May the full number of Dakota be rescued from the enemy! May You soothe and release them from the orphan spirit and the principality of abandonment. May their entire Nation know, recognize, and receive Your adoption and treasuring love in its place. Welcome home Dakota Nation!
*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!