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Granite Falls adopts resolution observing conflict anniversary

GRANITE FALLS -- The city of Granite Falls joined Redwood Falls, Minneapolis and an unknown number of other cities in approving a resolution this week urging that the Dakota perspective be heard during the 150th anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 in hopes of rectifying the wrongs.

The resolution was introduced to Granite Falls City Council members on Monday by council member Sarina Otaibi, and approved at its first reading, according to City Manager Bill Lavin.

The resolution cites the harm and injustices that had been inflicted on the Dakota both prior to and during the conflict. It urges that the Dakota perspective be voiced and considered in discussions and events held during the 150th anniversary.

Granite Falls is located near the Upper Sioux Community, and the city's residents include many who are enrolled members of the tribe.

The resolution reads:

Whereas, the year of 2012 was the sesquicentennial of the beginning of the Dakota-U.S. war of 1862 that led to the mass execution of 38+2 Dakota, the largest in the history of the United States, and the genocide of the Dakota people; and

Whereas, much has yet to be learned about issues revolving around land, reparations and restitution, treaties, genocide, suppression of American Indian Spirituality and Ceremonies, suppression on Indigenous languages, bounties, concentration camps, forced marches, mass executions and forcible removals; and

Whereas, Indigenous women, children and elderly were held in a concentration camp at the base of Fort Snelling, separated from the men, before being exiled to reservations in neighboring states and Canada, and later being stripped of their culture and traditions in boarding schools and subjected to white culture and religions, and

Whereas, the complete history of Minnesota must be taught from the perspective of all people that have lived it; Now, therefore, be it resolved by the City Council of Granite Falls, Minnesota,

That every effort must be made to ensure that the Dakota perspective is presented during the year 2012-2013, through discussions at forums, events, symposia, conferences and workshops, to include the complex issues listed above;

Be it further resolved, that the City of Granite Falls works to promote the well-being

and growth of the American Indian Community, including Dakota People; and

Be it further resolved, that these efforts during the year 2012-2013 will mark the beginning of future dialogues and efforts to rectify the wrongs that were perpetrated during, and since, the year 1862, a tragic and traumatic event for the Dakota People of Minnesota; and

Be it further resolved, that the year 2012-2013 is hereby designated "The Year of the Dakota: Remembering, Honoring and Truth-Telling" from December 26, 2012 to December 26, 2013.

Adopted by the City Council this 5th day of August, 2013.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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