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DSU to host Dakota 38 + 2 community gathering

December 10, 2015

Dakota State University invites the public to attend a community gathering honoring the Dakota 38+2 Memorial and Reconciliation Ride on Monday, December 14th, at 4:30 p.m. on the DSU campus in the Trojan Center Marketplace.

The tradition of the Dakota 38 + 2 ride started in the spring of 2005 after Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, dreamt of riding on horseback across the plains of S.D. At the end of the dream, he arrived at a river bank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in U.S. history ordered by President Abraham Lincoln.

In 2008, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retraced the route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, S.D. to Mankato, Minn., to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. The ride has been an annual event ever since.

The fate of the Dakota 38 came as the Dakota War concluded. On Dec. 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minn., 38 Dakota men, shackled together, were marched in single file to a scaffold guarded by 1,400 U.S. troops. As they were being led to the gallows, they sang a Dakota prayer; thanking the creator for everything they'd been given. The pull of a single lever ended the lives of 38 Dakota men. Indian culture remained suppressed for over a hundred years and their spiritual ceremonies were illegal up until 1978.

Monday’s gathering starts at 4:30 p.m., with the Dakota 38 riders starting the meal at 5:00 p.m., followed by the community members. The program will start at 5:45 p.m. with remarks from DSU, community members, Dakota 38 Riders and South Dakota Humanities Council guest artist Jerry Fogg. During the community gathering, Yankton Sioux Tribal artist and speaker, Jerry Fogg, will be on hand to discuss his work, with many of his pieces on display.

Donation of trail ride support is requested, appreciated-items include: nonperishable snacks-trail mix, beef jerky, granola bars, protein bars, bottled water, Gatorade, hand-warmers, stocking caps, gloves, scarves and thermal socks.

Support for this program is provided by the Office of Diversity Services of Dakota State University, the Madison Area Arts Council, with special support from the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.