Dakota Elders Announcement
Dakota Elders Announcement
Monday, May 29th, 2017 (Minneapolis, MN)
On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, at the All My Relations Gallery, 1414 Franklin Ave, Minneapolis Minnesota, all Dakota traditional and spiritual elders are invited to meet and discuss how to respond to the “Scaffolding” sculpture that is currently being presented by Walker Art Center on Minneapolis Park and Recreation Land in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The intent of the elder meeting is to share information about the structure, to hear a timely written update from the Walker Art Center, and to make decisions about the priorities for next steps for the structure, specifically:
1) Elders’ wishes regarding the structure
2) Who will be in the working group to plan a ceremony
3) How to involve the Dakota community including youth and Native artists in this historic event and future
discussions of the important role that art plays in truth-telling
4) Identifying the twelve elders who are available and willing to attend the first face-to-face meeting with the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Minneapolis administrator and the sculptor on Wednesday, May 31st.
All Dakota are encouraged and invited to respond with their insights in this process. This is an opportunity for parents to engage the children in learning about their history and for the students and professions to use their position to help share our truth, our history. Because of the quick timing of this first meeting and the fact that many Dakota cannot travel to this meeting, you may send and share your response with an elder who will carry that intention forward in prayer to the meeting.
We welcome all Dakota who come with a good heart, with respect for the ancestors, the elders, our traditional ways and our sacred sites for the opening prayer and announcements. No press please. This is only the first of many meetings to help create a process of healing and to help educate through Dakota truth-telling of our own history.
The next step will be the face to face meeting of Dakota spiritual and traditional elders with the Walker Art Center staff and city staff Wednesday morning 9:30 to 12:30 to discuss next steps, followed by a joint press announcement at 2 PM of any logistic decisions made. Recognizing that the presence of the sculpture is very volatile to our community, that timeliness and participation by all related parties is very important, the focus of this part of the mediation process will be discussing the logistics. Broader education for the staff and public will come later.
The Walker Art Center has agreed to push back the Grand Opening of the sculpture garden until Saturday, June 10 to allow for more attention to this process and for good faith efforts at dialogue by all parties.
We call upon all Dakota to pray for wisdom and for healing.
We request that all press wait for the joint announcement on Wednesday after our mediation meeting rather than seeking individual statements from our community.
We ask all non-Dakota allies to not take action on our behalf; please respectfully allow us space to conduct our process in our way and timing so that we may heal.
The Lower Sioux Elders
For more information please contact (507) 430-3863.