MANKATO, Minn. — The Dakota 38 + 2 Memorial Ride reached its final destination at Reconciliation Park in downtown Mankato, Minnesota on Thursday, December 26, 2019 to honor the 38 Dakota who were hanged on day after Christmas 157 years ago on the approval of President Abraham Lincoln.
RELATED: This Day in History – Dec. 26, 1862: 38 Dakota Men Executed on Approval of Lincoln
This year’s ride began on December 10 with 13 riders, with a send-off ceremony by supporters in central South Dakota. On Thursday, some two dozen riders made their way to Reconciliation Park in Mankato. A crowd of about 300, including Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, who ia a tribal citizen of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, were among the crowd.
“On behalf of the people of Minnesota and as governor, I express my deepest condolences of what happened here. And our deepest apologies of what happened to the Dakota people,” Gov. Walz said. “Working together in common good is our goal. I thank you for making sure the future for all of our children, black, white, brown and indigenous, is as bright as it can be.”
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.
Riders ride into Reconciliation Park in downtown Mankato, Minnesota, the scene where executions took place. Photo by Kara Richardson.
The hangings, approved 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.