MN 'Concentration Camp' Survivors' Relatives Remember 150 Years Later

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This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the War of 1862. Some call it the Sioux Uprising or the US-Dakota War. Hundreds of Dakota men and women as well as white settlers in Minnesota lost their lives during a short-lived war that resulted in the exile of many Dakota.

To this day, the war remains a wound that has yet to heal. After the battles were fought, many Dakota, mostly women and children were marched from Morton, Minnesota to Fort Snelling in bitter cold temperatures. They spent the winter at an interment camp. Many did not survive.

Descendants of those who were marched to Fort Snelling mark this time through a special ceremony at the exact spot. They consider that 1862 internment camp the first concentration camp in the United States. Mendota Dakota Tribal Chair Jim Anderson allowed our cameras to be there because, as he says, “Ignorance is racism. We need to educate others about what happened to our people.”

Tales of atrocities, death and hopes for peace

A memorial plaque at Fort Snelling says at least 130 of the Dakota died during the cold winter months of captivity.

In May 1863, the survivors format he camp were crowded aboard steamboats and taken to Crow Creek in southeastern South Dakota. Those were survived Crow Creek were moved again three years later to the Santee Reservation in Nebraska....

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