Color photographs by Cathe Olson – Special to Native News Online
Published December 26, 2017
MANKATO, MINNESOTA — Facing sub-zero temperatures, the Dakota 38 + 2 Wokiksuye Ride made its final journey to Reconciliation Park at downtown Mankato, Minnesota on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 to honor the 38 Dakota who were hanged on day after Christmas 155 years ago on the orders of then President Abraham Lincoln.
The Dakota 38+2 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.
The hangings, ordered by Lincoln, were the result of the Dakota War of 1862, which terminated the rights of Dakota people from living in Minnesota at that time.
The ride honors 38 Dakota, who were hanged in Mankato on Dec. 26, 1862, as well as two additional American Indian warriors, who made their way to Canada, but were brought back to Minnesota and executed three years later.
“We’re here for the dream, the message — healing, reconciliation, cultural diversity,” said Wilford Keeble, the ride’s eagle staff carrier. Keeble called the time period of the war and the subsequent “The untold chapter in American history, the dark history no one wants to talk about.”
Hundreds gathered at Reconciliation Park to remember those who were hanged 155 years ago today.
The hangings took place where Reconciliation is located in downtown Makato.
Photograph of the hangings that took place on December 26, 1862. File photo