Ruth Hopkins: December is rough month for Great Sioux Nation

The execution of 38 Dakota men in Mankato, Minnesota, on December 26, 1862, was authorized by president Abraham Lincoln. Drawing from Library of Congress

December is a tough month for the Great Sioux Nation but Ruth Hopkins thanks her father for leaving her with good memories of Christmas:
As a Dakota/Lakota woman, the holiday season is one of conflicting emotion, and often, grief. Why? December is a rough month for the Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation). In a way, its one giant reminder of the genocide we’ve survived.

Tatanka Iyotake, Sitting Bull, one of our greatest Lakota prophets and statesmen, was assassinated on December 15, 1890.

On December 26, 1862, the largest mass execution in the history of the United States took place. 38 Dakota men were hung in Mankato, Minnesota on that day, by order of President Abraham Lincoln. They were accused of participating in an uprising after the Dakota people were made to starve. Some were innocent; in fact, two were hung by mistake.

On December 29, 1890, about 300 innocent people, mostly women and children, were massacred at Wounded Knee. The soldiers who murdered them received Medals of Honor for committing the atrocity.

Get the Story:
Ruth Hopkins: A Christmas Gift: Feeding the Elderly (Indian Country Today 12/24)

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