By Susu Jeffrey - 17. April 2021
I don’t know which was worse, whiskey or the church. - Bob Brown, Chair Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community 1996-2003
|Dakota resist near Standing Rock: They try to kill us by contaminating our water! - REUTERS / Lucas Jackson|
The greater Twin Cities area is Dakota Territory. Local groups trying to be politically correct sometimes announce “we want to acknowledge that we are in Dakota and Anishinabe land.” No. That announcement is tantamount to saying we want you to think we are culturally attuned but actually we are too lazy to do the research. This is Dakota land.
Two years after the Louisiana Purchase, in 1805 when European-American troops first invaded this area they treated (made a treaty with) Dakota people. It is referred to as the Pike Treaty. The “treaty” was ratified but never proclaimed, is of questionable legal authority and, for that reason, has never been tested in federal court.
The treaty included (vaguely) 9-miles of land on either side of the Mississippi River from below the confluence with the Minnesota, north to the Falls of St. Anthony “for the purpose of the establishment of military posts.” Meanwhile the Dakota people retained the rights to “pass, repass, hunt or make other uses of the said districts, as they have formerly done.”