They do it for reconciliation
HOWARD, SOUTH DAKOTA – Facing frigid cold wintry weather conditions, the Dakota 38 + 2 Memorial Ride 2013 is underway with men riding on horseback and a caravan of support riding along side through the Great Plains of South Dakota.
Riders left Lower Brule, South Dakota on Monday and will arrive in Mankato, Minnesota on December 26, 2013 to mark the date that 38 Dakota people were hanged at Mankato on orders of President Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862.
The Memorial Ride began in 2005 as a way to promote reconciliation between American Indians and non-Native people. Other goals of the Memorial Ride include: provide healing from historical trauma; remember and honor the 38 + 2 who were hanged; bring awareness of Dakota history and to promote youth rides and healing.
“My brother, Jim Miller, had the dream for this Memorial Ride. He asked me to come along to help with cooking and anything else that needs to done to assist the riders,” said Josette Peltier, Lakota/Dakota, who beliefs in the goals of the ride.
“People don’t know how blessed they are to have these guys doing this ride. They carry prayers. They even ride in frigid temperatures. People don’t realize this is for healing for all mankind,” commented Peltier to the Native News Online from a moving vehicle along the route on Thursday.
“This is for our little ones who are growing up. We do this so there is something for them to have when they grow up. So many our teenagers are lost. They need the older ones to take them aside to talk to them. They don’t know their culture,” Peltier continued.
Some of the riders proclaim this year is the coldest Memorial Ride yet. On Tuesday the temperatures were 7 below (F) as the riders rode across the plains of South Dakota.
“Wednesday, the temperatures reached 25 (F) and we thought we had a heat wave going,” quipped Keith Nichols, one of the riders who is on his second ride with the group.
“I am doing this as part of the reconciliation process. Just being part of the journey – doing this hand and hand and step in step – is healing for me,” Nichols said.
As with any endeavor of this magnitude, the 38 + 2 Memorial Ride 2013 needs to funds to ensure the riders, volunteers and horses are fed.
To donate on line go to www.dakotaindianfoundation.org, choose the Make a Donation tab. In the notes area write “For Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride 2013”
Please send cash or check donations to:
Any Wells Fargo Branch Should be able to deposit it for you.
Wells Fargo C/O Mankato Memorial Riders of Crow Creek
201 South Main Street
Chamberlain, South Dakota 57325
Updated: December 15, 2013 at 9:40 am, EST