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If You Only Get to One Event This Summer, This Should Be The One

One of the most important events to take place in Minneapolis this summer will happen Tuesday August 21 in Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, on the east bank of the Mississippi River.  You owe it to yourself to go, and you owe it to your friends to tell them about it.

II’ll quote from Minneapolis Park Board web material to describe the program.  The Park Board, the First Nations Composers Forum, and Dream of Wild Health have collaborated to make this event, and others like it, possible:

August 21, 2012

Jim Rock presenting Dakota Star Knowledge

Music: Maza Kute drum (Santee Dakota) and The Mankato Symphony Orchestra (MSO), begins at 7 p.m.
The Maza Kute is a traditional singing group from the Santee Indian Reservation in Nebraska. Formed in 1979, the Maza Kute drum group has been singing for more than 30 years. This drum group has kept the music alive in the Santee community with the help of many great singers.

Mankato Symphony Orchestra was organized in 1950, the mission of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra is to celebrate classical music through public presentation, to promote arts education by introducing the children of our community to the wonders of orchestral and choral music, to make such music accessible to all residents, and to contribute vital energy to regional economic development and cultural tourism. Together they will perform a rendition of “Paha Sapa Olowan” (song for the Black Hills) composed by Brent M. Davids (Mohican). They will then perform a version of Pow wow Symphony.

Movie:  Dakota 38begins at dusk 
In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862. “When you have dreams, you know when they come from the creator… As any recovered alcoholic, I made believe that I didn’t get it. I tried to put it out of my mind, yet it’s one of those dreams that bother you night and day.” Now, four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. “We can’t blame the wasichus anymore. We’re doing it to ourselves. We’re selling drugs. We’re killing our own people. That’s what this ride is about, is healing.” This is the story of their journey- the blizzards they endure, the Native and Non-Native communities that house and feed them along the way, and the dark history they are beginning to wipe away. “DAKOTA 38” is Smooth Feather Production’s first feature length documentary film.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket and take in the view of Minneapolis’ downtown skyline as you enjoy Indigenous Music and Movies. The series is hosted by the First Nations Composer Initiative, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and Independent Indigenous Film & Media. In its third season, Indigenous musicians, artists, filmmakers, producers and actors will be showcased in a four-part music and movies series at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park in Minneapolis.

This series features:

  • Local and national American Indian music makers
  • National American Indian Film-makers
  • Dakota Astronomer and Educator; Jim Rock will present Dakota Star knowledge
  • Emcee, Ms. Lisa Yankton
  • Dream of Wild Health will serve traditional Native foods related to each movie’s theme, and will sell freshly harvested, organic vegetables

Father Hennepin Bluffs Park is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River at 420 Main St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414. Bike racks are located in the park. Parking is available at meters along Main Street, local parking lots and city streets east of the park. Metro Transit bus line #6 comes within two blocks.


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  1. 10,000 Books Weblog : Minnesota Historical Society Press » Dakota 38 film tonight at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park in MinneapolisAugust 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    […] from Maza Kute, a traditional singing group from the Santee Reservation in Nebraska, with the Mankato Symphony […]

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