19th Century, 20th Century, Art, History, Intercession, Native Americans, omnipresent history

Pipestone National Monument Established

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“Pipestone Quarry on the Coteau des Prairies” George Catlin Oil on canvas. Smithsonian American Art Museum. 1985.66.337

August 25, 1937

“Congress establishes the state’s first national monument–Pipestone National Monument–in southwestern Minnesota.” *

Monuments typically are structures or markers that are placed to guide society to remember that something of significance. In this case, the item of importance is literally a type of stone specimens of a quality rarely found in elsewhere. Below is a brief excerpt, that gives us a little scientific footing to understand it.

 

“The Early Proterozoic Sioux Quartzite of southwestern Minnesota accumulated as sedimentary sand layers deposited by streams that flowed across an erosional surface developed on older Archean rocks. These deposits were metamorphosed by heat and pressure to produce the metamorphic layers of quartzite seen today. The thin 2 to 6 inch layers of reddish-brown catlinite – a metamorphic claystone argillite – is normally found sandwiched between layers of quartzite which is often found under an overburden of 10-15 feet. The catlinite deposits of southwestern Minnesota are estimated to be between 1.6 billion and 1.8 billion years old.” **

Most of the western world found out about Pipestone through snippets in the journals and writings of explorers like Lewis and Clark ca. 1814, or Philander Prescott ca. 1832.*** In 1836, American artist George Catlin – after whom Catlinite is named – recorded the Sioux legend of the origin of the pipestone as follows:

“At an ancient time the Great Spirit, in the form of a large bird, stood upon the wall of rock and called all the tribes around him. Taking out a piece of the red stone, he formed it into a pipe and smoked it, the smoke rolling over the whole multitude. He then told his red children that this red stone was their flesh, that they were made from it, that they must all smoke to him through it, that they must use it for nothing but pipes: and as it belonged alike to all the tribes, the ground was sacred, and no weapons must be used or brought upon it.”****

The mystery of this place was also recorded in the imagery of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poetry; “On the mountains of the Prairie, On the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry…”.*****

However, those with the most memory of the place are those to whom it is most sacred; the Ihanktonwan Nation. This group of Sioux, a.k.a. the Council of the Seven Fires, are the sworn protectors of this holy ground, and the ritual pipes made from these stones.For what reason is pipe-smoking considered sacred and necessary for most tribal and family meetings, or at times of decision?******

The pipe ceremony is a sacred ritual for connecting physical and spiritual worlds. “The pipe is a link between the earth and the sky,” explains White Deer of Autumn. “Nothing is more sacred. The pipe is our prayers in physical form. Smoke becomes our words; it goes out, touches everything, and becomes a part of all there is. The fire in the pipe is the same fire in the sun, which is the source of life.” The reason why tobacco is used to connect the worlds is that the plant’s roots go deep into the earth, and its smoke rises high into the heavens.*******

So we turn to You in prayer, dear Father! We give You thanks for creating connections between the physical and spiritual worlds through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ! We thank You that the natural and supernatural is flawlessly joined in Your practical teachings and in the most sacred rituals proscribed in Your Word! You did not create and then negate; Your Spirit is with us, and guides our prayers and actions beyond the limitations of the present tense! You allow us to experience and connect with the great “I AM”!

We give You thanks for the creation of the Pipestone National Monument, and for its’ keepers; the Ihanktonwan Nation! We thank You for the protections offered by the states of Minnesota and South Dakota, indirectly, to the prayers of the Sioux Nations! We know that You remember the smoke of the Ochethi Sakowin, the Dakota, and the Lakota peoples through time.

We ask that You forgive the separations of these people groups, and the latter residents of Minnesota and South Dakota. Where we sinned against You in this place, will You forgive us? Where we have failed to recognize You, will You open our eyes and our hearts? Where we have cursed the grounds in war, or broken relationships, will You lift the curse? 

Sweet Holy Spirit, will You blow Your smoke over Pipestone, and connect us with our Messiah? Spread Your fragrance through us Jesus! You have carved Your Image into our lives, may we pass that image on!

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

** http://www.rocksandminerals.com/specimens/pipestonegeo.htm

*** http://www.lewis-clark.org/article/3161

**** http://www.rocksandminerals.com/specimens/pipestone.htm

***** https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/pipestone/rock.htm

****** https://www.yanktonsiouxtribe.net

******* https://www.native-americans-online.com/native-american-pipe-ceremony.html

Want more? Please read a primary source letter by Catlin regarding Pipestone. Catlin, George. “Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of North American Indians”.  Published London.1844. http://www.rocksandminerals.com/specimens/pipestonevisit.htm

 

 

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

Sisseton Wahpeton Reservations Established

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February 19, 1867
“The Sisseton (or Lake Traverse) Reservation in northeastern South Dakota and the Devil’s Lake Reservation in central North Dakota are established for the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands, originally from Minnesota. These two bands had argued for the restoration of their treaty rights on the grounds that they had not fully participated in the war of 1862.” *

Lord Jesus, I ask that You enter this negotiation of February 19 so long ago. Will You bring Your justice into this situation? Will You free the Minnesotan and tribal members from the sins of their generations? Will You bring a new peace between Sisseton Wahpeton and our State?

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

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19th Century, History, Indian, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, Politics, State Government

Ramsey Appointed Territorial Governor

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June 1, 1849
“As the first territorial governor and second governor of the state, Alexander Ramsey presides over the early days of Minnesota politics. A shrewd, practical politician, he acquires Indian lands and promotes growth. Later, he becomes a U.S. senator and secretary of war, and will live into the 20th century, a symbol of Minnesota’s pioneer past.” *

Lord, I want to bless the memory of Alexander Ramsey, and acknowledge to You his humanity. The ability of politicians’ to use their power for their own good rather than the benefit of the State is well recorded throughout human history. Unfortunately, our state is no exception to this rule.

For example, Ramsey is also noted for his stern statements calling for the killing or removal of specific Native Americans, chiefly the Sioux (Dakota) people that lived in the state of Minnesota. Ramsey declared on September 9, 1862: “The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” **

Lord, I acknowledge the tangle of treaties in Minnesota, the likelihood of confusion, and unjust acquisitions of Indian land. Where Indians failed to maintain right relationship with the State and the Federal government; have mercy! Where Ramsey wronged Indians in the name of Minnesota in both word and deed, we acknowledge this sin. Will You give us a heart of repentance and restoration? Will You untangle our web of treaties?

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Ramsey

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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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