150-Year-Old Letters Give Voice to Dakota Prisoners, MN Public Radio

Monday, April 11, 2011
By Julie Saylor
444-0754

150-Year-Old Letters Give Voice to Dakota Prisoners, MN Public Radio

by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio

January 19, 2011

 


Fargo, N.D. — For nearly 150 years, the voices of Dakota men imprisoned after the Dakota Conflict of 1862 went unheard.

But the details of their imprisonment are starting to emerge, in letters written by those prisoners after six weeks of fighting along the Minnesota River Valley that left hundreds of Indians, settlers and soldiers dead.

In a tiny office at North Dakota State University in Fargo, Clifford Canku has spent 10 years poring over the faint handwriting with a magnifying glass.

"One letter would take about a week," said Canku, a Dakota elder who teaches Dakota language at North Dakota State. Canku is one of three lead translators on the project, which has unearthed never-before revealed details of a turbulent episode in Minnesota history. ...

Click here to continue reading: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/01/19/dakota-tribe-letters/



Back to Indian Education Home Page