August 31st, 2004
To All My Relations,
We, the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community (MMDC) and supporters, are trying to protect a burial mound of our Relatives located on South 34th Ave. in the City of Bloomington, Minnesota.
On Thursday, August 27th, 2004, Jim Anderson, Cultural Chairman of MMDC, was contacted to check into a dig that was going on out near the Airport. Upon arriving I was met by Jim Jones of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council.
Jim Jones asked us, Jim Anderson and Michael Scott, Tribal Chairman of MMDC, to step away from the dig site. Then we talked about what was going on at this site. He told us that a preliminary archeological survey was being done for the construction of a two level below ground parking ramp. He told me that this was an old home site and that they had found a garbage area for the homestead.
Jim Jones told us they had also found skeletal remains of one of our Dakota Relatives. Jim Jones also said that the Remains had been partially impacted by a water line. Jim Jones also added that he had contacted the Shakopee Tribal Council. He added that the Shakopee Tribal Council had given him permission to repatriate the Remains across the street at a Certified Burial Mound at the Cerbian Building Site.
I, Jim Anderson, asked Jim Jones if the Mound that he was disturbing was a Certified Burial Mound. Jim Jones replied that the fact was that they would be removing these Remains in Ceremony. We requested that this sacred place should be preserved as it is, and how would we make this happen.
Jim Jones said it was too late to stop the project and that trying to stop the project would hurt the work that they already had in progress. We told him that nobody had contacted our community because we are not a Federally Recognized Tribe but this is our homeland. I was also concerned that no one at Prairie Island Dakota Community had been contacted and informed of this important matter. I told him that it was our duty as Dakotas to try and preserve the Burial Area as it is. Then Jim Jones told us that we had to leave the area of the dig site because they were done for the day.
After this conversation, we decided to contact the Prairie Island Dakota Community to see if they could help in protecting this Burial Mound. I called Doreen Hagen, Tribal Chairwoman at Prairie Island. She called back and talked with Jim Anderson, and let him know that she was in the process of contacting Shakopee to figure out what steps to take next. We also spoke with Chris Leith, a spiritual elder at Prairie Island, and at his request we are keeping vigil to watch over the remains of our Relatives.
We realize that what the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC) is doing to protect the Remains is very good because many of the remains of our ancestors have been destroyed from construction projects across the country. So we thank them for their very important work.
All we are asking for is that the efforts of the MIAC go one step further. This is an area where many mounds have been removed and the Remains either destroyed, put in Museums or Repatriated. Now that they have found this Burial Mound we ask that that it be protected and undisturbed. We ask this in the name of our ancestors, in their memory.
We simply and humbly ask that the land owners, developers and the City of Bloomington do the ethical thing in the Spirit of the White Buffalo Calf Woman. Her teachings instruct us that all four colors of man will come together in peace to protect the Earth for our future generations.
We know our ancestors used this sacred land on the bluffs of the Minnesota River to bury our Relatives. We are asking that this small mound be preserved for all mankind. As human beings the history of this area is all of ours to share.
We pray that the McGough Company, the developers and the City of Bloomington save this very sacred land as a Traditional Cultural Property and that they make this area a memorial to all the mounds and the bones of our Grandmothers and Grandfathers that have already been lost to progress.
Pidamaya (Thank You)
Tribal Council Chairman Mendota Dakota Community
Cultural Chairman Mendota Dakota Community
HOW YOU CAN HELP
PLEASE COME TO OUR SPIRITUAL VIGIL
DIRECTIONS: TAKE CEDAR AVE. S. SOUTH TO 494 AND GO EAST FOR 1 1/2 MILES. TAKE THE 34TH AVE. EXIT (ALSO THE EXIT FOR THE HUMPHREY TERMINAL AT THE AIRPORT). GO RIGHT (SOUTH) ON 34TH AVE. AND GO 3 BLOCKS UNTIL IT CURVES AND BECOMES OLD SHAKOPEE ROAD...AT THE BEND YOU WILL SEE A LARGE TIPI THAT WE HAVE ERRECTED, AND A SMALL , CLEAN SPIRITUAL ENCAMPMENT.
WE ASK YOU TO JOIN US.
THIS IS A NON-VIOLENT, RESPECTFUL SPIRITUAL ENCAMPMENT. WE ASK THAT YOU NOT ENGAGE IN ANY FORMS OF SHOUTING OR DISRESPECT.
WE NEED PEOPLE TO KEEP VIGIL WITH THE SACRED FIRE THAT WE STARTED LAST THURSDAY, AUGUST 26TH. WE HAVE VIDEO CAMERAS TO DOCUMENT IF ANY OF OUR ANCESTORS REMAINS ARE TAKEN OUT OF THE EARTH.
WE NEED FOOD, BEVERAGES, FIREWOOD, FLASHLIGHT BATTERIES, WARM BLANKETS, MOSQUITO REPELLANT, VIDEO CAMERAS, WATER, SAGE, SWEETGRASS, CEDAR AND TOBACCO.
FFI: CONTACT JIM ANDERSON 612-910-0730
Please Contact the McGough Company (the landowners of the burial mound site) and respectfully ask them to stop the desecration of this burial site.
2340 E. Old Shakopee