19th Century, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, State Government

Lind Becomes Governor

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Jan 2, 1899 to Jan 7, 1901
John Lind takes office as the state’s 14th governor on January 2, 1899.

Lind, an outspoken political maverick, campaigned zealously for adoption of a more equitable tax burden, enlightened concern for the sick and poor, and direct elections of state officials. Although most of his efforts to change society failed, Lind paved the way for subsequent reform and Minnesota’s transition from an agrarian to an industrial society.*

Thank you for the struggles of John Lind. Thank you for all Minnesotans’ who have bucked at the limitations of the two-party system. Thanks for his heart that was tender to others that wrestled with the giants of their time, and usually lost.

Why this struggle? The people knew Minnesota had riches: excellent dairy pastures, productive farmland, timber, iron ore and minerals, thousands of lakes, and a waterway that crossed half a continent. What was there to complain about? Commodities are valuable if they can reach the markets that have need for such resources. What if the “middlemen” ate them alive with storage fees, transportation costs, and sales commissions? Or what if the laws of one’s business were written by giants for giants?

Lord, I don’t know many details of these Lind years, but I see this conflict as a worthy subject to acknowledge to You. Will you forgive our judgements of the land hunger of the giants of timber, iron, farmland speculators, and railroads that began on January 2, 1899 and still prevail? Will You also forgive the land hunger of Minnesotans’ that displaced the Anishinaabe (Chippewa, Objibwe)?

Anishinaabe Reservations
The seven Anishinaabe reservations include: Grand Portage located in the northeast corner of the state; Bois Forte located in extreme northern Minnesota; Red Lake located in extreme northern Minnesota west of Bois Forte; White Earth located in northwestern Minnesota; Leech Lake located in the north central portion of the state; Fond du Lac located in northeast Minnesota west of the city of Duluth; and Mille Lacs located in the central part of the state, south and east of Brainerd.
All seven Anishinaabe reservations in Minnesota were originally established by treaty and are considered separate and distinct nations by the United States government. In some cases, the tribe retained additional lands through an Executive Order of the President. Six of the seven reservations were allotted at the time of the passage of the General Allotment Act. The Red Lake Reservation is the only closed reservation in Minnesota, which means that the reservation was never allotted and the land continues to be held in common by all tribal members. Each Indian tribe began its relationship with the U.S. government as a sovereign power recognized as such in treaty and legislation. The Treaty of 1863 officially recognized Red Lake as separate and distinct with the signing of the Old Crossing Treaty of 1863. In this treaty, the Red Lake Nation ceded more than 11 million acres of the richest agricultural land in Minnesota in exchange for monetary compensation and a stipulation that the “President of the United States direct a certain sum of money to be applied to agricultural education and to such other beneficial purposes calculated to promote the prosperity and happiness of the Red Lake Indian.” The agreements of 1889 and the Agreement of 1904, Red Lake ceded another 2,256,152 acres and the Band was guaranteed that all benefits under existing treaties would not change. http://www.indianaffairs.state.mn.us/tribes.html

Will You forgive our claim to Your land also known as Minnesota? Will You forgive our claim to Your intellectual property: air, water, plants, minerals, animals, weather, day, night, and people? You have given enough for all! You let us play with Your building blocks! Let us be worthy builders!

Father, help us deal with our pain that drives our anger. You have said in Ecclesiastes that there is:
“A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; “

We often see anger as only negative, or as the expression of an emotion that separates us. Yet, it is the expression of anger that often lets others know that our boundaries have been crossed. There is an anger that is mad at separation.

Will You bless Governor Lind for expressing this kind of anger; the anger at injustice? Lind was known for having a temper. According to an article on the front page of the Moose Lake (Minnesota) Star on January 17, 1901: “Ex-governor John Lind after having freed himself from the duties of governor last Thursday walked down to the Dispatch office in St. Paul and administered to Editor Black a well-deserved licking. For a one armed man John Lind can make some telling blows once in a while.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lind_(politician)

*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! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

 

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19th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government

Red Lake Reservation Created

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“The Red Lake and Pembina bands cede some land but retain a large portion and refuse to move anywhere else. Because this land is never ceded, it remains to this day as purely Indian land.”*

This makes me think of the example of land use You revealed to us through the children of Israel.** Each son, and therefore each tribe, was given specific lands in covenant with You and each other. They had the sense of private property, yet this land was redeemed back to You and tribal ownership in 7 or 49 year cycles. (See Leviticus 25) You offered them both a sense of place and of grace, avoiding the “boom-bust” cycles of our Westernized concepts of private property!

Thanks that Red Lake is “purely Indian land.” Thanks for all lands everywhere that have remained free from our collective contention! Bless this land today, Holy Spirit, in Your grace and truth. Bring Your life to this land and Your people whether of the Red Lake or Pembina bands! Surely, in You, all humanity will have a plan and a place to have a home!

*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!
**http://www.bible-history.com/geography/maps/map_canaan_tribal_portions.html

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19th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, Treaties

Grand Portage, Fond du Lac, and Lake Vermillion Reservations Established in 1854 

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The Mississippi and Lake Superior bands cede the Arrowhead Region of northeastern Minnesota and are put on the Grand Portage, Fond du Lac, and Lake Vermillion reservations.*

Jehovah, if my family was being force-moved to a reservation by the state of Minnesota; I would be furious! But faced with a hopelessly powerful opponent, I too, would concede! Will You forgive the judgments of the US and territorial governments towards the Mississippi and Lake Superior bands of Ojibwe, especially the necessity to cede this parcel of land from them?

The lumber and mining interests probably knew the value of this land, and would not be afraid to twist the arm of any politicians who stood in the way of this prize. Where there was greed in this moment, will You forgive us? This wood and this iron, from these woods and grounds, have filled the earth with benefits, but when viewed in human terms seems tainted. Will You reclaim Your natural resources? Wherever or whatever form they may take today?

Were there any counter-judgments these Native Americans may have made in their hearts towards our system? It would be only human to feel so. Imagine waking up to the announcement that the government needs your home more than you, and that you must evacuate the area as soon as possible? Lord forgive us this concession as a state, as well as our personal attempts to force our way on others.

Will you heal the reservation lands, what is below, what is above of Grand Portage (Gichi-onigamiing), Fond du Lac (Nah-Gah-Chi-Wa-Nong meaning “Where the current is blocked”), and Lake Vermillion (Onamanii-zaaga’iganiing, “At the Lake with Red ochre”) and continue to resolve this conflict? Will You give us one reservation where all are welcome?

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .

 

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Faith, History, Native Americans

Treaty of Traverse des Sioux Jul 23, 1851

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“Suppose your Great Father wanted your lands and did not want a treaty for your good, he could come with 100,000 men and drive you off to the Rocky Mountains.”

Luke Lea, U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, at treaty signing

Facing mounting debts to fur traders and the pressure of settlers pouring into the newly established Minnesota Territory, the Dakota leaders reluctantly sign treaties, hoping that government promises of reservations and annuities will provide a secure future for their people. Powerful and influential fur traders coerce the Dakota into giving up their land in exchange for promises of cash, goods, annuities, and education. “The Indians are prepared to make a treaty when we tell them to do so,” said Henry Sibley. “No treaty can be made without our claims being first secured.”

Luke Lea, U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and Minnesota territorial governor Alexander Ramsey negotiate separate treaties with the Upper and Lower Dakota Bands. In July they meet with the Upper Bands (Sisseton and Wahpeton) at Traverse des Sioux. After several weeks of discussions and threats, the Upper Bands relinquish their claims to all Minnesota lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for an immediate cash payment of $305,000 and annuity payments in goods, food, education, and gold. The treaty also provides for a reservation along the upper Minnesota. Thinking they are endorsing a third copy of the treaty, the Dakota leaders sign “Traders’ Papers,” illegal documents drafted by the traders themselves. The documents promise much of the $305,000 cash payment to the traders to fulfill “just obligations.”

In August the commissioners begin negotiations with the Lower Bands at Mendota. The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute are pressured into agreeing to terms similar to those forced on the Upper Bands, including $220,000 in upfront cash to the fur traders. Both treaties promise the Dakota new reservations along the Minnesota River “in perpetuity,” a pledge that will not be kept.*

“But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” Exodus 11:7

Sweet Holy Ghost, I really do not relish writing today, especially for such a time as this in our state’s memory. Will You lead me, perhaps give me insights, and the courage to pray for this moment of contention? Through Your amazing kindness for the brokeness of humankind, I invite You to come watch this treaty!

I do offer real thanks for the promise of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. There was a chance to make things clear, put things in writing, and have an agreement that honored both sides. Thanks for this opportunity to become better neighbors, even if it was squandered.

Just Advocate, this what I see today, the Upper and Lower Dakota Bands were willing to concede land if the end result was a stable and secure future. I see them extending these concessions in good faith and a real sense of relationship. What is also clear is that Luke Lea, Sibley,Ramsey, and the fur traders’ lobby were used to getting their way. Their quotes suggest an attitude of dominance and willingness to exert power.

This is my confession to You today Wise Counselor: will You forgive these grievous sins made through Luke Lea, Henry Sibley, Alexander Ramsey, the Bureau of Indian Affairs towards these specific peoples, tribes, first nations; the Sisseton, the Wahpeton, Mdewakanton, and the Wahpekute? Will You lift the weight of this robbery from their shoulders, and restore their inheritance?

More specifically, will You forgive the spirit of deception behind the “Traders Papers”, and the damage it did both relationally and economically to these tribes?
Will You forgive the horror of our offense to You, done in the name of our state, it’s officers, and any other duplicitous parties? Have mercy on these “Traitors Papers”!

We also offend You, Great Spirit, when we answer offense with counter offense. Will You forgive the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Mdwakanton, and Wahpekute any counter-judgments against the same offending parties, whether named; Lea, Sibley, Ramsey, or the B.I.A., or unnamed, the authors of the “Traders Papers”? May these peoples receive mercy so they do not carry this offense generationally in their hearts, and become doubly wronged?

That said, will You make a difference between the righteous and the unrighteous? As Abraham asked of You, “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:23-25 Of Course You Will!
I praise You that You allow each generation the fruits of their choices!You allow humans to be temporarily wronged by the short-sighted, but these ill-gotten gains will bring separation and destruction. May all such devious treaties ring hollow throughout the history of Minnesota!

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .

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19th Century, Culture, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, law, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties

Doty Treaty July 31, 1841

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James Doty, the governor of Wisconsin Territory, fashions a treaty intended to provide a permanent home west of the Mississippi River for the Dakota, the Ho Chunk, and other tribes. Tracts of land are to be set aside for each band on the left bank of the Mississippi; each tribe is to have a school, agent, blacksmith, gristmill, and sawmill. The initial treaty is negotiated with the Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Wahpekute bands; negotiations with the Mdewakanton collapse. The United States does not ratify the treaty.*

Another treaty I know too little about. Help me, Jesus! Help me, wikipedia! Help me, Library of Congress! Help me tribal websites!

Lord, may I sit and watch this treaty in the making with You? Where do you wish to go? What can You teach about Governor Doty, and the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Wahpekute, and Mdewakaton nations? You are unlimited by time; what does this day of July 31, 1841 look like from the Eternal Now?

It was difficult to find a succinct summary of the Doty Treaty, but these are the pieces I see so far. Governor Doty was a Democrat who befriended Whigs. He seems less interested in party than principle. His intention for these permanent homelands may have come from within or from external motives to assuage land speculators. This is not clear to me yet.

In any case, Good Father, I bring these petitions to You who know each heart. Will You remember the benevolent intentions of Doty’s treaty to supply each nation with permanent claims to land, schools, agents, and the practical industries of his day? Will You bless his efforts to ratify this treaty at the Federal level, in spite of its failure?

I know even less about the responses of the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Wahpekute, and Mdwakaton towards Governor Doty, or how much information they were privy to. As a fellow human, empathetic to these people at this time, may I bring my heart for them to You?

I begin with a general idea; trust. Will You remember the effect on these specific tribes, who have known great fluctuations in spirit from the United States? Will you remember those who negotiated with them in good faith? Will You recall those who broke their trust in the name of our states and nation?

I especially pray for their reactions to times of broken trust much like I would pray for an individual who has undergone a great trauma, neglect, or abuse. We cannot escape some horrors of life, but we can choose our response. Will You break any response of fear, bad faith, or hatred for those that may have chosen such?

Honest One, our innermost lives are in Your plain view. We have offended Your diplomacy when we betray our brother in false negotiations. We have offended You when we break another’s faith. We, too often, think of ourselves as able to make good judgments although we have such an incomplete handle on the truth, or the pain another has lived through. Will you forgive, then and today, these offenses?

Slow us down! May we embrace the pain of choosing to love; to show mercy on our enemies! Will You write “Mercy Over Judgment” over the left bank of the Mississippi, and “Love Your Enemy” over the right bank?

Was this part of Your response, Lord?

“Treaty of October 13, 1846 — A treaty of cessions, and intended acquisition of lands west of the Mississippi River for a new homeland, concluded in the City of Washington. [Proclamation, February 4, 1847; 9 Stat., 878]. James K. Polk, President.”http://www.ho-chunknation.com/available-services/heritage-preservation/cultural-resources/history-of-ho-chunk-nation/treaties-of-the-ho-chunk-nation.aspx

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