In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors: The Dakota Commemorative Marches of the 21st Century

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9780972188623: In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors: The Dakota Commemorative Marches of the 21st Century
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"In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors" is a collection of essays in words and pictures that tells the story of the Dakota Death March of November 1862. In the words of Dr. Waziyatawin Angela Wilson, "This work...stands as a narrative that reclaims our right to tell our stories in our own ways and for our own purposes....It is designed with Dakota empowerment in mind, as a valuation of Dakota voices, perspectives, worldview, and historical and contemporary experiences....The imagery, perspectives, and stories of the past impact the present in profound ways, and this message is conveyed in every contribution to this volume."

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About the Author:

Waziyatawin Angela Wilson is Wahpetunwan Dakota and is from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe in southwestern Minnesota. She is the author of "Remember This! Dakota Decolonization and the Eli Taylor Narratives" (Nebraska, 2005) and is the co-editor of "For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook" (School of American Research, 2005) and "Indigenizing the Academy: Transforming Scholarship and Empowering Communities" (Nebraska, 2004). Waziyatawin is currently working to create Oyate Nipi Kte, an organization dedicated to the decolonization of Indigenous Peoples of the United States.

Review:

May this book stand as a testament to the atrocities visited on the Dakota of Minnesota, not for posterity, but as an opportunity for us to finally tell our story. May this book be recognized as part of the healing process that restorative justice champions and as bringing some understanding to the atrocities still inflicted on Dakota people, for only with understanding can healing come. May this book give rise to the dominating society taking responsibility for settling things right with Dakota descendents, for, just as our people and communities live with the legacy of historical trauma, so, too, do Whites live with the legacy of the atrocities that their ancestors committed. May this book be recognized as articulating a pattern visited upon all Indigenous Peoples of this continent and throughout the world--the pattern of colonization and oppression. May this book be part of undoing these negative patterns, which unfortunately still thrive today. --Harley Eagle, enrolled member in the Wapaha Ska Dakota First Nations Reserve, Co-director of antiracism programs for the Mennonite Central Committee, U.S.

Waziyatawin Angela Wilson, one of the foremost scholars in Native American history, has made yet another invaluable contribution to the field of Native studies. This work challenges the boundaries of scholarship and community accountability by situating Native history as a site for decolonization and coalition politics. "In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors" demonstrates that it is possible to engage Native communities and allies in the process of historical remembering that challenges U.S. colonial frameworks and promotes healing and justice for Native nations. --Andrea Smith, Cherokee, University of Michigan, Co-founder, Boarding School Healing Project

There is nothing quite like this book, and it merits both our support and attention....[I]t is important for the Dakota people as part of their story told in their own words; it is important for the descendants of the immigrants like me who need to hear these words so that we can...explore how we might find common cause for a more hopeful future. --Howard J. Vogel, Professor of Law, Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota

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