Published December 27, 2016
MANKATO, MINNESOTA— Concluding a 330-mile journey from the Lower Brule Indian Reservation in South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota, the Dakota 38+2 Wokiksuye Ride assembled at Reconciliation Park in Mankato on Monday.
It was the 154th anniversary of the largest execution in American history when 38 Dakota were put to death by hangings on orders from President Abraham Lincoln.
The annual ride takes 16 days and follows the route the Dakota ancestors took in 1862. The riders come from American Indian and non-Native backgrounds from various parts of the United States and Canada. Dozens ride on horseback and others follow along in vehicles.
Several of the riders have participated with the resistance at Standing Rock where thousands of American Indians and allies have assembled for several months to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline.
“Thirty-eight of my nation’s most valued leaders were executed because the U.S. government feared their leadership and love for their people. Today, we are proud to have survived such amazing leaders, and we strive to live up to such greatness,” commented Gregg Grey Cloud to Native News Online.
“Compassion, truth and forgiveness is what we advocate during this ride. We hope that friendship and peace fills your hearts when remembering the Dakota 38+2.”
In honor of two Sioux leaders who escaped and eventually recaptured before they were executed at Fort Snelling in 1865, the ride added the “plus two.”
Photos by Gregg Grey Cloud.