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Column: City apologizes to Dakota descendants

"On Saturday, the mayor of Winona, the Roman Catholic bishop and several other representatives of government and church groups apologized during an outdoor "truth and reconciliation" ceremony to members of the Dakota (Sioux) tribe, including direct descendants of the hereditary Dakota chiefs known as Wapasha, or Wabasha, whose Mdewakanton band of Dakota lived for generations beneath the Winona bluffs.

"I am hurt and I am truly ashamed of the injustices inflicted on the Dakota nation," Mayor Jerry Miller told a gathering of several hundred people who listened to two hours' worth of testimony from tribal members who recounted family stories of suffering during more than a century of war, removal and racism. Miller, saying he was speaking on behalf of Winonans past and present, offered "our sincere, heartfelt apology for what happened" and said Winona wants to welcome the Dakota back home."

Get the Story:
Nick Coleman: Journey toward reconciliation The past flows into the present (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 6/27)