Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dakota women arrested countering genocide

Article by Brenda Norrell
Photo by Tom Cherveny/West Central Tribune
Winuna of Granite Falls is taken into custody shortly after her mother, Dr. Angela Wilson or Waziyata Win, was also taken into custody.
UPPER SIOUX AGENCY STATE PARK, Minn. -- Dakota women were arrested on Saturday, August 16, 2008 during a counter genocide protest. Dakotas from the Yellow Medicine Dakota Community, with their allies, countered the Upper Sioux Agency State Park's program. The genocide celebration was part of the Sesquicentennial of the state of Minnesota, portraying the 1858 1st Regiment.
Chris Mato Nunpa, retired Dakota professor, said, "My daughter, Waziyata Win, and my grand-daughter, Winuna were arrested. Fortunately, they both were released later in the day.
"It was incredible the amount of armed law enforcement personnel that were there. We had no guns, clubs, knives, etc. We were peaceful and non-violent. To me, it just illustrates the level of racial hatred and fear of the Dakota and of Indigenous Peoples that is present here in southwestern Minnesota and elsewhere throughout the U.S.
"Again, it shows how we as Indigenous Peoples are living in oppression, in this case we are oppressed by their law, their legal ideology which is used to enforce the exploitation and continued oppression of the Indigenous Peoples. They have the guns and the men to enforce their law, even though we were on Dakota land," Mato Nunpa wrote.
"They, the wasicu, have the forums and and freedom of expression. We express our views, the TRUTH, and we get arrested."
Dr. Mato Nunpa, Ph.D., retired, was an associate professor of Indigenous Nations and Dakota Studies at Southwest Minnesota State University Marshall.
Mato Nunpa said the state's celebration reveals nothing about the massive land theft, broken treaties or genocide perpetrated on the Dakota by the Euro-Minnesotans. The state's celebration does not reveal the bounties, mass executions, forced marches and forced removal of the Dakota People from their ancient homelands in Minnesota.
Video of arrest of Dakota women:
West Central Tribune: 'Re-enactment leads to arrests'
Chris Mato Nunpa: "Dakota exercised their fishing rights on Sunday, July 20, 2008 on Lake Harriet, a lake in the ceded area of our Treaty of 1805."
Video of treaty fishing:
More by Chris Mato Nunpa on Minnesota's genocide and concentration camps:
Reader comment, published with permission:
Hi Brenda,
As I read the story and watched the video of the confrontation last weekend at the Upper Sioux Agency it became crystal clear that white Minnesota cannot deal with the truth and reality of its history. It's pathetic that not only did white Christian Minnesota lie, coerce, swindle, and kill the Dakota people, but also goes to great lengths including arresting minors to shut them up and keep them from revealing the true history. Once again, only the conqueror's version of history prevails and can be told. How utterly pathetic. I also read the posted comments pertaining to the video and was appalled at the racist and imbecilic remarks that were directed at Chris and his family, and at the Native American people in general. Maybe the comedian Ron White is correct when he says "Ya can't fix stupid."
In the Spirit and the Struggle,
Dave Murray

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