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Majors & Degrees

DSU to host final 38+2 Ride

December 12, 2022

Riders with the 38+2 Memorial Ride will be coming to Madison again this year on December 14.

This year may be one of the biggest rides, with a group from Montana joining the group, but it will also be the last ride, said Josette Peltier, Spiritual Leader of the Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride, as the leaders are retiring at the end of this ride.

The annual 330-mile horseback ride began in 2005 to honor and remember 40 Dakota warriors who were hung in Mankato, Minnesota after the Dakota War of 1862. Thirty-eight were hung on December 26,1862; two more were hung in early 1863. This is the largest mass hanging ever recorded in America.

To raise awareness of the impact of this event and bring reconciliation to all people in the region, dozens of riders leave Lower Brule, South Dakota on December 10, and travel to Mankato for the December 26 anniversary. The riders arrive in Madison on December 14 each year, and the community comes together to welcome them.

“As a new employee at DSU, I’ve heard so much about this event,” said Dr. Rebecca Hoey, Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

“I’ve been deeply impressed by the profound respect faculty and staff have for the riders who participate in the annual Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride.”

The ride also fosters an appreciation for the Lakota culture, including music, food and history, and Hoey said “I’m proud of DSU’s long-time support of the memorial ride, and look forward to hosting the riders when they pass through Madison on their way to Mankato.”   

This year, the Madison Ministerial Association is hosting the group for lunch at Prostrollo’s on Dec. 14. Dakota State will again host the evening meal at the Trojan Center, with assistance from the Native American Student Association and MAST (Madison Area Stands Together). Dakota State and the city of Madison provide them with overnight lodging.

The community can also donate supplies for the riders, including scarves, gloves, stocking caps, hand warmers, blankets, or non-perishable food including protein bars, trail mix, crackers and cheese. These may be dropped off at the DSU Entrepreneurial Building, 1400 N Washington Avenue between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. until Dec. 13, or call 605-256-7493 for pick-up.

The campus and area communities are invited to attend the evening meal on the Dakota State campus at 6 p.m. The supper will include fry bread walking tacos, chef’s choice for the grill line, salad bar, and a dessert station. The meal will cost $12 for community members. There will also be a program featuring a drum circle and a gifting ceremony.

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