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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Not Minnesota Nice

"Minnesota Nice" is the stereotypical behavior of
people born and raised in Minnesota, to be courteous, reserved, and
mild-mannered. The cultural characteristics of Minnesota Nice include a polite
friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understatement, a
disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, emotional restraint, and
self-deprecation. It can also refer to traffic behavior, such as slowing down
to allow another driver to enter a lane in front of the other person. Critics
have pointed out negative qualities, such as passive aggressiveness and
resistance to change.
In 1862
though, after four years of statehood, and the outbreak of civil war Minnesota
wasn’t so nice. Another civil war broke out within the state between the white
settlers and the Dakota Nation. 1862, Minnesota was
still a young state, part of a frontier inhabited by more than one million
Indians. Times were hard and Indian families hungry. When the U.S. government
broke its promises, some of the Dakota Indians went to war against the white
settlers. Many Dakota did not join in, choosing to aid and protect settlers
instead. The fighting lasted six weeks and many people on both sides were
killed or fled Minnesota. Former Minnesota governor Henry Sibley led an expedition
of soldiers and Dakota scouts against the Dakota warriors. The war ended on
December 26, 1862, when thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged in Mankato in
the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Afterwards the government forced
most of the remaining Dakota to leave Minnesota. For white Minnesotans, their
experience of blood and terror negated all promises they had made to the
Dakota. Stories and history books told about the great "Minnesota
Massacre," but for many years the Indian side of the story was ignored. Now you can read the “other side of the
story "In Through Dakota Eyes.” While
the book lacks a clearly followed chronology, it consists of a collection of
original documents from legal proceedings and oral history which is well worth
the readers time. If your interested in the tragic story of when
hundreds of settlers, Indians, soldiers and bystanders were killed this
is the book for you. I highly recommend it.


Montanagirl said...

I think this would be a good read!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I found the Indian War to be very interesting. You know what? I do not remember this in any kind of history class in high school. (Of course that was a long time ago)
I am interested in reading this one and I will look for it at the Library..there are two sides to every story...Thanks for the review:)

EcoRover said...

Nice to hear the story told from the Lakota perspective. I can only imagine how long it might take us (as Americans, all of us--White and Indian) to recover from this era.