The public is invited to attend a free Camp Release Dakota War Dialogue and Memorial Walk to be held from 1 to 5 p.m. starting at Historic Chippewa City which is located at the intersection of Hwy 7 & 59 in Montevideo. Pre-registration is required by calling 1-877-269-2873. The purpose of the event is to observe the 150th Anniversary of the final act of the U.S. Dakota War: the release of 269 captives to Colonel Henry Sibley starting on September 26, 1862.
Although much has been written about the U.S. Dakota War of 1862, the debate, oftentimes hotly contested, continues on both sides. "There have been dozens of observances and commemorations throughout Minnesota this year, as we examine how and when this conflict actually began, and most importantly, how we can begin to heal the wrongs committed by those on both sides of the Conflict", stated Chippewa County Historical Director, June Lynne. "The Dakota War Dialogue and Memorial Walk event is designed to encourage participants to reflect and converse with one another other about our past, and how we move forward, together, as a united Minnesota," Lynne added.
There will be no speeches, tour guides or pronouncements made during the event. Emphasis will be placed on quiet reflection and walking, to observe the fact that everyone, captives, Dakota, and soldiers, walked everywhere back in 1862, including the forced marches of the Dakota to Mankato and Fort Snelling.
A bus will also be provided to transport event participants to the Camp Release Monument site, to ensure that all can participate. Since there is limited parking at the Camp Release site, it is recommended that everyone park at Historic Chippewa City.
The walk to the monument will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Participants are asked to arrive by 1:00 p.m. for orientation and introductions, and to view the exhibit on the U.S. Dakota War at the Chippewa County Historical Society. After an hour or so of visiting the monument grounds, participants will walk or take a bus back to Historic Chippewa City to take part in a free lunch and dialogue beginning at 3:00 p.m. Everyone is asked to bring a dessert to share with the group.
The dialogue will take the form of a "world café" where tables of participants will be asked to focus on listening to each other and seeking common themes around questions about what the Dakota War and Camp Release mean to us now and going forward as a society. The dialogue is being sponsored by InCommons -- a community-based initiative that connects Minnesotans to share tools, knowledge and resources to address complicated problems.
The entire event is being organized by the Chippewa County Historical Society, the Lac qui Parle County Historical Society and Clean Up the River Environment (CURE). For more information call Patrick Moore at 320-269-2984 or June Lynne 320-269-7636.