The Chippewa County Historical Society will host the 60th annual Lac qui Parle Mission Sunday on Sunday, July 9. The day will begin with a worship service at 10:30 a.m. led by Dr. Reverend Clifford Canku, and will feature the Dakota Ascension Choir and the hymn “Lac qui Parle”, which was composed by Joseph Renville. This hymn has been in the Dakota Odowan since 1846, and the words are based on Jeremiah 10:12-13. The hymn was translated into English by Philip Frazier, a third generation Dakota pastor in the Congregational church.

It is perhaps the most widely known Christian Indian hymn in the United States, a legacy to all people from the Santee Dakota, who still sing it in their native language. The hymn will be sung in both English and Dakota at the worship service. A potluck lunch will be held at 12:00 p.m. near the dam site. Coffee and juice will be provided and we ask that you bring a dish to pass, plates, napkins, eating and serving utensils and a folding chair for your convenience at the noon potluck. The afternoon program will begin approximately at 1:00 p.m. This year's program will be presented by Jeff Williamson, a descendant of missionary Dr. Thomas Williamson.

The program will focus on Thomas Williamson, Jane Williamson (his sister), and John Williamson (his son). It will also include information on Gideon and Samuel Pond, Stephen Riggs, Joseph Renville, Cloudman, Little Crow, and Christian Dakotas. Additional topics will include anti-slavery activities of the Williamsons and missionary families, locations of missions, treaties of 1851 and 1858, U.S. Dakota War of 1862, aftermath of the war including the mass conversions in the prisons, and Thomas Williamson’s efforts to get prisoners pardoned. The program will end with Williamson’s death in 1879 a few months after his final goal of completing the translation of the entire Bible into the Dakota language.

This annual event is free and open to the public. Local residents are encouraged to join the missionary and Dakota descendants for the day. The Lac qui Parle Mission is located six miles north of Montevideo, on Hwy. 59, and 2.2 miles west on County Road 13. Turn right before the dam and the Mission is on the right. For more information on Mission Sunday or the Lac qui Parle Mission, please contact the Chippewa County Historical Society at 320-269-7636 or e-mail us at or you may visit our website at