19th Century, cultural transference, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, State Government, Treaties, U.S. Government, war

Punitive Expeditions: Massacre at Whitestone Hill

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July 1, 1863

“On September 3, soldiers with Gen. Alfred Sully spot a large encampment of Indians in Dakota Territory who are in the middle of preparing food for the winter. Only some of these Indians are Dakota. Seeing that they are outnumbered the soldiers return and report their find. Aware that they’ve been seen, the Indians break camp, but are pursued by the soldiers. Men, women, and children flee in all directions. The Indian men make a desperate resistance but are soon overwhelmed. At least 150 Indians are captured, and hundreds are killed. In his report Sully gloats “I can safely say I gave them one of the most severest punishments the Indian have ever received.” “ *

Dear Ruah Ha-Qodesh, I’m so thankful that You are the good Counselor. My heart is so heavy as I ponder these memories today. Will You come and bring light and wisdom to pray for this cruel day of July 1, 1863?

My first guidance from You came circumstantially through a video I watched yesterday on YouTube. ** This lesson is from an Elijah House teaching series titled “Healing Trauma” featuring, Prayer Minister/Teacher, Sandra Sellmer-Kersten. In it, she articulates some profound ideas about healing prayer for those who are victims of trauma. 

The concept that struck me the hardest was her intentional prayers for the amygdala portion of the brain. 

“The amygdalae (singular: amygdala; /əˈmɪɡdələ/; also corpus amygdaloideum; Latin, from Greek ἀμυγδαλή, amygdalē, ‘almond’, ‘tonsil’) are two almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep and medially within the temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans. Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions, the amygdalae are considered part of the limbic system.” ***

How fitting that we should minister to the exact part of the brain where memories are stored! I’m no scientist, but it makes sense that as memories form much of the basis of our personality and being, that we should humbly and gently pray for You to take this pain up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ. Maybe this is a clue for this meditative journey through history You have me on, Lord; to pray for the amygdala of the collective brain of my broken and wounded culture?

So here I start, today I recognize to You the memory of the Massacre at Whitestone Hill. Gracious G-d, all our offenses are an offense to You first! This day these unnamed soldiers led by General Alfred Sully failed to recognize Your image within the Native Americans living at Whitestone Hill. Whether their punitive actions could be classified at that time as an act of war or simply retribution is unclear. What is clear is that the judgments of the General, his soldiers, the state of Minnesota, and perhaps the U.S. government resulted in the death of innocents. Lord, have mercy on this shedding of innocent blood!

It is apparent by the quotation of Sully, “…I gave them one of the most severest punishments…”, what prompted his heart. But what do You say about this motive?

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.” I John 4:18****

How much blood has been spilt on this ground because of one strongman’s fear of another strongman’s fear? How much devastation our home has seen because a General fears a Chief, or a Chief who fears a General? We are incomplete in love, and choose leaders with the same human faults. They have overstepped their boundaries and moved from “protectors” of our culture and society into its’ “avengers”. 

Will You place Your hand on the amygdala of all involved in this massacre? Will You remove the heart of the avenger, and guilt of all military men and their eternal progeny involved in this day? Will You guide the same into Your balanced heart of justice and protection, and heal them of the horrors of war?

Further, Will You remember this day of trauma for those Native Minnesotans who were simply preparing food for winter? Will You vanquish these victims? Will You speak into these hearts and their eternal progeny that they are welcome and wanted at Whitestone Hill, and a beautiful part of of Your good plan for this state? Will You redeem this land? Will You take the pain of this memory, and turn it into a blessing? Will You cause a heart commitment that political practice of acts of love will surpass our political acts of fear? Will you complete us in love? Touch the memory of Minnesota! Heal our trauma! Amen.

*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!

** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-uqtQQmYOA

*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amygdala

**** http://biblehub.com/1_john/4-18.htm

 

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19th Century, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, State Government, Treaties, U.S. Government

Dakota banished from Minnesota

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May 1863

“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, Monday March 7, 2011, 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.’” Leviticus19:15

Lord, bless this people with mass visions of Your Beauty. 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 repatriated from the enemy!

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19th Century, Culture, History, Indian, Intercession, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties, U.S. Government, war

Trials and execution of Dakota at Mankato

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December 26, 1862
“Of the hundreds of Dakota people who surrendered or were captured during the U.S.-Dakota War, 303 men are tried in a military court and convicted of rape and murder. At the urging of missionary Henry Whipple, President Abraham Lincoln reviews the convictions and commutes the sentences of 264 prisoners. Lincoln then signs the order condemning the remaining men to death by hanging. One prisoner is reprieved just before the sentencing is carried out. The remaining 38 men are hanged at Mankato on December 26, 1862—the largest mass execution in U.S. history.” *

Wow! That’s a sad title we own: “Minnesota, home of the largest mass execution in U.S. history.” Thank you for the merciful actions of Henry Whipple and President Lincoln. As a human being, I admit that I have the potential for hate, rape, and murder in my heart. All have offended Your perfection, yet we feel comforted by ranking our offense as lesser than our neighbor’s.

Will You forgive these hanged ones like You’ve forgiven all humanity? Will You restore them? Their generations? Their dwellings? Their lands? Their belief in the law and justice? Will You restore those who acted treacherously to foment this war: politicians, chiefs, business leaders, soldiers of the U.S. army or of the Dakota Nation, men, women, and children?

Will You forgive them for taking the bait of the enemy; the first offense? Will You forgive their offenders their profound lack of judgment by first executing their will to execute?Will You bring us all into chesed with You and as Minnesotans?

*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!

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19th Century, cultural transference, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties, war

Removal of Dakota Survivors

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November 7, 1862
“Minnesota governor Alexander Ramsey declares that “the Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” Dakota women, children, and older men are marched from the Lower Sioux Agency to Fort Snelling. Along the route they are attacked by mobs of angry settlers. Witness Samuel Brown recalled that the streets of Henderson, Minnesota, were ‘crowded with an angry and excited populace, cursing, shouting, and crying. Men, women, and children armed with guns, knives, clubs, and stones rushed upon the Indians.’ “ *

Most of us haven’t experienced “street justice”! We cannot relate to being attacked simply for existing, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. For those of us who have, the anxiety, panic, and sheer terror of being pursued by a mob are hard to erase.

Jesus, will You forgive the city of Henderson, and all those who participated in these actions on members of the Lower Bands of Dakota? May the hatred and fear projected from this town to the Dakota at this time be turned into direct blessing and healing words. Will You give gifts to all Dakota Bands to forgive this bitter chapter?

Will You cover the offenses of the Dakota towards Henderson, and all the lands where their conflict took place? Will You forgive the Dakota their attacks on innocents, and their property? Will You forgive the Dakota their counter-projection of hate and fear onto their neighbors?

Will You forgive those who sowed the seeds of this reaction? Will You forgive those who sowed the root offense of this conflict? Will You teach us to resolve its gross offenses, even deaths, in a life-giving way?

Kind Judge, in this act we have denied, and even attempted to usurp Your justice. We, in common, have acted as agent provocateurs against Your laws and order. We have submitted ourselves to injustice, and participated in base laws governed by revenge-filled hearts.

May the nation of Minnesota here represented, Dakotan, American, Euro-Minnesotan begin the path of blessing: from November 7th, 1862 through to the present. May we receive from You riot-proof hearts; whether against You or our fellow man. May you shield us from the misbelief that we can act as judge, jury, and executioner.

May we practice repentance before You first, and create habits of restoration towards our brothers and sisters for whom You died and rose again. Jesus, we love so poorly and incompletely because we do not grasp Your selfless love. Have pity on us whether Native Minnesotan, or Adoptive Minnesotan!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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19th Century, death, Geology, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties, U.S. Government, war

U.S. – Dakota War Battle of Birch Coulee Sep 2, 1862

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September 2, 1862
“Just before sunrise the sharp crack of a warning shot signaled the start of the Battle of Birch Coulee, one of the hardest fought battles of the U.S.-Dakota War. The Dakota kept U.S. soldiers under siege for 36 hours before a relief detachment arrived from Fort Ridgely.” *

A coulee is a term derived from the French word “couler” which means “to flow”.
In the Midwest, coulee often describes a three-sided valley formed by erosion. Perhaps both of these descriptions seem symbolic of spiritual and relational realities that the Holy Spirit wants to reveal through this event. Let’s think about this!

In the context of this battle, a three-sided valley acted as a place of entrapment where the blood flowed. Where can one escape in a three-sided valley with the enemy blocking the only hope for escape? Yet, geographically Midwestern coulees are often green places of growth, a shelter from the wind, and a location where the water flows outward in one direction.

What apt symbols of war and peace? Like in the Battle of Birch Coulee, when human beings practice a mindset of “us versus them” there is no escape; only kill or be killed. Yet, Jehovah Shalom (G-d our Peace), shows us a way out of our two-sided oppositional positions, and reveals a third perspective to us; one where His mercy triumphs over our judgment. When we can yield our pride to Him, maybe we can see the lovingkindness He has for our opponent, gain a new perspective, and flow peacefully together in one direction?

In Your mercy, Lord hear our prayer. Will You intervene in the long-term aftermath of this battle? We have sinned against You and the place of Birch Coulee. Will You forgive the bitter judgments of all participants? Will You make this site a holy site of peace? To the Minnesotan, American, and Dakotan of this event, and their generations, I speak this truth; “…A Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

To many of my contemporaries, even the concept of a Savior, or needing a Savior, is offensive. Yet, I wish to add a confession of behalf of myself, my peers, and especially the Church within this State. We live in a time where “self-determination” is esteemed as a political right, and sometimes as a worldview that shapes much of our decision-making. Will You forgive us this offense, and the places we have become imbalanced in terms of “self”?

We correctly see that we have a right to our “self”, but our trust is broken and incomplete . We don’t see another’s right to “self” because we trust solely in our human abilities. We do not seek, believe in, or rely on an “other” perspective greater than our “self”. So, we do battle, both parties attempting to preserve their precious “self”.

So, we do battle to preserve this precious “self” that You have given us.Yet there is another way! You are the rightful Advocate and Mediator of all our relationships because only You completely see the Infinite worth of every human, every life, all matter, all Spirit under the sun! You would bring Infinity and timeless perspective to our moments of potential conflict if we only inquired, listened, and received Your insights.

Will You show us the eternal “win-win”, “honor-honor”, and “mercy-mercy” of our negotiations? Will You teach us the ways of “other-determination”? Amen.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3,4

*http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

 

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19th Century, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, Treaties

Reservations Halved 1858

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1858
“The U.S. government seeks more land to accommodate an influx of European settlers into Minnesota. As a result, 26 Dakota leaders are pressured to negotiate yet another treaty. After four long months spent in Washington, D.C., the Dakota are forced to sell the north half of their reservation in exchange for goods and annuities and the continuing right to live on the southern strip of their reservation.” *

Jesus, I do not know the complexities of our laws’ surrounding the Dakota. I can see, with my limited vision and knowledge, that the Federal government with the state government of Minnesota as beneficiary, had a motive to acquire and to redistribute more land from them. This could be a non-issue, were it an amiable deal with a complete and clear understanding of terms.

However, I see the phrases here “are pressured” and “forced to sell”. A forced sale is not a sale, but coercion or extortion. Again, who would choose to submit to high pressure sales tactics of their own volition? Will You forgive this offense of coercion towards these 26 Dakota leaders and all their people and lands?

We have offended You by offending these exact Dakota bands? Will You forgive us this debt officially done in the name of Minnesota and our Federal government? Will You lift the spirit of coercion that still binds this specific Dakota land? Will You lift the spirit of harassment from the shoulders of these 26 Dakota representatives, their nation, and all their generations? Will You free our government and it’s Representatives from the bondages incurred through this event? Will You create remorse that leads to right relationship in those who specifically forced this “sale”, and their figurative children today?

With President Abraham Lincoln, today I pray for “a new birth of freedom”! Will you inspire us to create new means to legally restore such historic cases? Furthermore, will You teach us ways to unravel the generational damages to our bodies’, minds’, wills’, emotions’, and physical environments?

Good Father, how I love Your freedom! You do not force us to follow You, but have said, “Choose this day who you will serve.” (Joshua 24:16) May we forever cherish the Messiah’s example of laying down His life for both friend and enemy! He blessed those that cursed Him even during His execution!? May we consciously choose to love our neighbor! May we seek Your blessing, and the double blessing of our neighbors!

*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!

 

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19th Century, cultural transference, Culture, History, Indian, Intercession, justice, Minnesota, Native Americans, Treaties

Leech Lake Reservation Created 

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1855 to 1864
“1855: The Mississippi, Pillager, and Winibigoshish bands cede all of north-central Minnesota for reservations at Leech and Cass lakes, Winibigoshish, Mille Lacs, Sandy Lake, Rice Lake, Gull Lake, Rabbit Lake, and Lake Pokegama.

1863-4: The Pillager, Winibigoshish, and Mississippi bands are moved off of the reservations established by the 1855 treaty and are concentrated at Leech Lake.” *

As I ponder the creation of this reservation today, I’m struck by the names involved. Often, we live out our names, and what we call ourselves we become. Will You show me, kind Holy Spirit, how to pray for this moment 160 years ago?

I found a few clues about the place-names from Wikipedia.
“On early maps, Leech Lake is identified in French as “lac Sangsue” (Bloodsucker Lake), which was then translated into English to its current name; its French name was translated from the Ojibwe “Ozagaskwaajimekaag-zaaga’igan” (lake abundant with bloodsuckers).” **

Below are the names of the actual signees of this agreement

“George W. Manypenny, Commissioner
Tug-o-na-ke-shick, or Hole in the Day, his x mark
Que-we-sans-ish, or Bad Boy, his x mark
Waud-e-kaw, or Little Hill, his x mark
I-awe-showe-we-ke-shig, or Crossing Sky, his x mark
Petud-dunce, or Rat’s Liver, his x mark
Mun-o-min-e-kay-shein, or Rice Maker, his x mark
Aish-ke-bug-e-koshe, or Flat Mouth, his x mark
Be-sheck-kee, or Buffalo, his x mark
Nay-bun-a-caush; or Young Man’s Son, his x mark
Mah-yah-ge-way-we-durg, or The Chorister, his x mark
Kay-gwa-daush, or The Attempter, his x mark
Caw-cang-e-we-gwan, or Crow Feather, his x mark
Show-baush-king, or He that Passeth Under Everything, his x mark
Chief delegates of the Mississippi bands.
Maug-e-gaw-bow, or Stepping Ahead, his x mark
Mi-gi-si, or Eagle, his x mark
Kaw-be-mub-bee, or North Star, his x mark
Chiefs and delegates of the Pillager and Lake Winnibigoshish bands.
Executed in the presence of:
Henry M. Rice
Geo. Culver
D. B. Herriman, Indian Agent
J. E. Fletcher
John Dowling
T. A. Warren, United States Interpreter
Paul H. Beaulieu, Interpreter
Edward Ashman, Interpreter
C. H. Beaulieu, Interpreter
Peter Roy, Interpreter
Will P. Ross, Cherokee Nation
Riley Keys” ***

Jesus, will You forgive all the judgments and separations made in these events? United States representatives judged those from Minnesota, Minnesotan’s judged the Mississippi, Pillager, and Winibigoshish. Going the opposite direction, the Winibigoshish, Pillager, and Mississippi band judged Minnesotan’s, and the United States government; all are full of judgments and counter-judgments. Will You free the lands of Leech Lake, Cass Lake, Winibigoshish, Mille Lacs, Sandy Lake, Rice Lake, and Lake Pokegama?

Lord, this day, I ask You to co-sign this loan arrangement of Your property! I lift all these names to You. Where they were living in good faith, may they be blessed in perpetuity! Where they have defaulted on the use of Your property, or misused any descendants of these names, we ask for Your recognition of sin, repentance, and restoration of chesed.

You are the Host of this planet, and we often behave like its leeches; we only know how to live off the host! Will You add Your name to balance the deficits of our accounts today Infinite-One-Who-Gives-Blood-So-Others-May-Live? May You bring us to full restoration in these relationships, and fully reunite us with this portion of nature known as Minnesota!

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 90
*** http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/treaty-of-february-22-1855.htm

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