NONFICTION: "Mni Sota Makoce, The Land of the Dakota," by Gwen Westerman and Bruce White

  • Article by: CURT BROWN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2012 - 3:18 PM

New book looks at the long-standing relationship between the Dakota and this land.

  • 5
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
  • 1 - 5 of 5
starsailingOct. 21, 1211:11 PM

I do not recommend this book. One of the authors has an agenda of creating a new Dakota Indian creation site at the mouth of the Mn river. pg 4 & 19 author short quotes a 1720 French account recorded about Dakota Origin. This same author quotes it in Nov 2006 affidavit as "a reference to terms invented by the Ojibway to describe the Dakota people. Author leaves this out and uses only the partial quote and states this statement is perhaps the first written record of the importanceto the Dakota of the area around Bdote. Not when you misrepresent who made quote. Same author short quote Gideon Pond and makes statements as if creation was at Mendota area. The part author leaves out "it asserts they sprang into existence about the lake at the head of the Rum river." This fact does not fit new creation site at Mendota so it is left out.Author quotes Mary Losure book "My Way or the Highway" to support his claim of sacred site at Camp Coldwater. That same book on page 34 debunks sacred claim as being made up by white Hwy 55 protesters starting on pg 89-92. If you know facts and choose not to use them to further your agenda, it is wrong!

0
3
ahdipiwinOct. 24, 12 4:57 PM

"Star Sailing" there is no such thing as "creating a new creation site." In response to this comment and to posts you have made in other forums it is obvious to me that you are ill informed and somewhat confused in your knowledge about Dakota creation and history. Perhaps this is because every point you make is in reference to what someone else wrote rather than being referenced from a knowledgable Dakota person. With every point you state you make reference to what someone else wrote in a text. The wonderful thing about this book Mni Sota Makoce is that oral history interviews were conducted with Dakota people, and that information and those stories gathered from Dakota people are what is cited and referenced in this book (these correlate with the archival findings as well). The truth is that we as Dakota people have more than one site of creation and more than one creation story because we have more than one band of peoples (the Bdewakantunwan, Sissetunwan, Wahpetunwan, and Wahpekute). We came into existence at more than one location, just like the rest of the peoples in this world and this does not make any one creation space more or less sacred or historically significant than the other. The two very sacred sites of creation that are related in this book are Bdote (at the intersection of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers) and Bde Wakan (Lake Mille Lacs). Regardless of what anyone says in any book, many Dakota people view Cold Water Springs as a sacred space as well and it is located in very close proximity to Bdote. The Flandreau and Crow Creek tribes have also recently drawn up statements declaring this area a sacred site to the Dakota. There is no obvious agenda for this book other than to educate and share knowledge. I don't know what your personal agenda is but I don't believe you or anyone else has the right to invalidate the belief systems of a peoples that date back hundreds of years and beyond. To do so is to encourage ignorance, perpetuate genocide and is, in fact, racist.

2
1
mikehazardOct. 24, 12 6:21 PM

Thanks, Curt Brown, for this review. In my opinion, this book is an historic history. Reading it has changed the way I see the land where I live. For a little more about what I see in this book: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151040739797014&l=dd928ca7a9

3
1
starsailingDec. 8, 12 8:03 PM

ahdipiwin, You are ill informed and confused on my knowledge of Dakota History. Bdote Dakota documenation goes only back to at best 1988 Chris cavender aritcle. The quotes used in book to support your new Dakota creation story such as "center of Earth" come from Gideon Pond, who 2 paragraphs further in the original document, stated "They sprang into existence about the lakes at the head of the Rum River." This shuts down complete claim to Bdote creation site. The author clearly shorted quoted 2 missionaries to give a different meaning to support Bdote creation. In the book, pg 15, Erin Griffin states "claims of Dakota origin in places other than Mni Sota Makoce conflict with Dakota oral narratives and ultimately undermine Dakota connections to the land." "This place known as Bdote is our place of genisis." Clearly stated...the agenda of this book is to support ONLY this particular agenda. All the references given by author in the book with Dakota contact before 1689 all point to Dakota creation and villages at and around Mille lacs with the one exception of village created below Lake Pepin in 1686. NONE at the Bdote area. Fact! The author in order not to have conflict with the Bdote area creation story, simply leaves out the numerous facts that the Dakota migrated from the Mille Lacs area and was known as their place of creation. Author left out all the tribes, Iowa, Otoe, Shienne,etc, the Dakota defeated, to hide the fact that those tribes occupied the Bdote area before the Dakota did. Hard to be Dakota place of creation when they had to defeat the other tribes in order to live at Bdote. To knowingly eliminate documented and oral history from 1640's to 1988 is wrong and disrespectful to Dakota history. All sacred stories about Camp Coldwater have been created since 1998, when the first sacred native stories were made up by 2 hwy 55 activists to stop hwy construction. They informed natives, (who banded together to get a casino)who then wanted the federal land at Camp Coldwater because it may become available. The author mis informs the readers about sacred stories, locations, names, etc about Camp Coldwater. I gave this info to the author starting in 1999. He had info again for over 1 yr. FACT!Curt Brown has my references of proof. I have protected and preserved Dakota history for 26 years. I created the plan and started the Traverse des Sioux interp site, the plan for preserving Pilot Knob I gave to Bob Brown mendot, I disciovered and have been preserving Camp Coldwater for 26 yrs despite the history hijacking, I have protected other springs,village sites, mounds etc. Your last statement shows your true character.

0
1
rainbowdahlDec. 9, 1211:41 AM

“ahdipiwim” I agree with you “there are many creations stories.” What starsailing is saying is, when Mille Lacs lake is discussed in the book, the author hides and ignores the fact it is the place of creation for the Dakota, yet calls it sacred. The book says Bdote is the center of earth for the Dakota...however, that quote they are using to claim creation at Bdote is from the missionaries who said, the Dakota "sprang into existence about the lakes at the head of the Rum River…..There is such a thing as “creating a new creation site”. A person can take a credible written and traditional Dakota origin creation story that says the Dakota people emerged from Mille Lacs Lake as human beings into this world and then create a [fake] “new creation site” by saying the Dakota did not emerge from Mille Lacs Lake, they emerged from Coldwater Spring in the Mdote area. Some Mdote area Dakota activists are doing this. This is what I am protesting. Having even a fake creation origin site in a particular area can potentially help activists to accomplish their goals in that area...When addressing the subject of Dakota creation stories, (the Black Hills Dakota origin creation story being one of them) Wilhelm K. Meya, one of the most active anthropologists working with the Dakota today, wrote: "The Mdewakanton are considered in the oral tradition, one of the most ancient divisions of the Sioux Nation or Ocetisakowin 'Seven Council Fires'. The sacred lake (Mille Lacs) figures prominently in Lakota/Dakota creation stories. The lake is considered sacred because the Dakota people emerged from it as human beings into this world."..I believe that what starsailing is saying is that the Dakotas sacred site of creation at Bde Wakan (Lake Mille Lacs) is not mentioned in the book. That’s his point, the authors have an agenda. The Mdote area is sacred, but is there a true Dakota creation origin site there? On Bruce White’s web site he wrote: "The fact that the Bureau of Mines site is important historically and culturally to the Dakota--as the site of creation for the people--is an important aspect of the site...Yet the agency that refuses to recognize the Dakota importance of the site has now been given the property." In other words, the National Park Service believes there is NOT an authentic creation story at Coldwater Spring, or the story is a deceptive ploy, and therefore it believes that the spring and surrounding land (or Bureau of Mines site) is NOT “the site of creation for the people” or even [a] site of creation for the Dakota people.

0
2
  • 1 - 5 of 5

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT