------------------------ Image

Most of the wording in Represenative Dean Urdahl's reconciliation resolution - which was introduced to the House of Representatives on March 17, 2010 - came from the following draft Minnesota Apology Resolution, a resolution that Urdahl asked me to write during a meeting with Dakota tribal leaders near the State Capital.

To view and read Urdahl's March 17, 2010 reconciliation resolution click resolution.


To acknowledge, both, a long history of mistreatment and abuse by the Government of Minnesota regarding Minnesota Dakota and Ojibwe Indian tribes, as well as a short history of mistreatment and abuse of the Ho Chunk tribe that lived in Minnesota in the mid-1800s, and offer an apology on behalf of the State of Minnesota to Minnesota Dakota and Ojibwe native peoples, the exciled Dakota bands and the Ho Chunk.

Whereas, Minnesota Dakota and Ojibwe native peoples are spiritual peoples with a deep and abiding belief in the Creator, and for nearly a thousand years the Dakota people, as well as for over two hundred years the Ojibwe people have maintained a powerful spiritual connection to this land, as is evidenced by their customs and legends;

Whereas the arrival of Europeans in the land now called Minnesota opened a new chapter in the history of Minnesota Dakota and Ojibwe native peoples;

Whereas, in agreement with the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission's 2008 public acknowledgement that Minnesota committed "ethnocide and genocide" against native people during its early history, the State of Minnesota wholeheartedly apologizes for these atrocities and the painful wounds that remain and have affected much of Minnesota history through to the present day;

Whereas, across the North American continent, from the colonial times on through the creation of the United States of America, people who believed in westward expansion, the concept of Manifest Destiny and the Doctrine of Discovery pushed out indigenous cultures through wars and land purchases and treaties. And many original indigenous cultures were pushes out by European colonizers causing intertribal wars as eastern tribes escaping the encroaching European Civilization moved west and were pushed into western tribes' homelands, where they (often armed with European guns and gun powder) displaced the western tribes. Minnesota was no exception. By 1862, as the Civil War took hold in the east, aboriginal native people in Minnesota had lost most of their land. And the land that was still theirs was not fully theirs, it was now U.S. land in which they only had occupancy rights to.

Whereas, in Minnesota there were forced removals/ethnic cleansing, a bounty for every scalp of a Dakota , concentration camps , forced marches , warfare, boarding schools , the largest mass hanging in United States history, forced assimilate to white culture and the Christian religion, the use of the addictive drug alcohol to steal lands and resources and cause intertribal wars. Sacred burial grounds and other sacred sites were desecrated. Derogatory and profane names were given to geographic places that were extremely disrespectful to native peoples. Lands were stolen and not returned. The Dakota's sacred Mille Lacs ancestral homeland and spiritual center was stolen and not given back to them.

Whereas, the Ho Chunk (Winnebago) lived in Minnesota from 1846 to 1863. In 1836, the Ho Chunk were forcibly removed from Wisconsin to Iowa. And then within ten years they were moved to a northern Minnesota territory. Here they served the United States government by being a buffer between the warring Dakota and Ojibwe. The Ojibwe had been pushed into Dakota territory from the east by the encroaching European Civilization. White fur traders were exploiting Indians by selling alcohol for furs. The disease of alcoholism amongst the Indians became rampant, which caused and fueled the war between the Dakota and Ojibwe. Then the U.S. put the Ho Chunk into this war zone, which caused the Ho Chunk much suffering and grief. After the Dakota conflict of 1862, the Ho Chunk were forced to move to South Dakota;

Whereas, in agreement with a United Nations World Conference Against Racism document that identifies where the origins of abusive racism against indigenous peoples comes from; the State of Minnesota acknowledges that: "In the fifteenth century, two Papal Bulls set the stage for European domination of the New World and Africa. Romanus Pontifex, issued by Pope Nicholas V ... declared war against all non-Christians throughout the world, and specifically sanctioned and promoted the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories. Inter Caetera, issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1493 ... officially established Christian dominion over the New World. It called for the subjugation of the native inhabitants and their territories,... These Papal Bulls, or 'doctrines of discovery', sanctioned Christian nations to claim 'unoccupied lands', or lands belonging to 'heathens' or 'pagans'."

Whereas, these "doctrines of discovery", or series of Papal bulls/decrees, set the stage for the mistreatment and exploitation of indigenous peoples. They were official authorizations to (a series of Papal quotes) "invade, capture, vanquish" and "subdue" indigenous peoples, "subjugate" them, so that they would be "brought to the faith itself" and the "Christian Empire" would be propagated. They also athoritized Europeans to "reduce their persons to perpetual slavery" and "take away all their possessions and property";

Whereas, the State of Minnesota is appalled and apologizes for the U.S. and Minnesota theft of the Dakota's Mille Lacs Lake region homeland. Which occurred by successive transfers of land, after Daniel Duluth, a Roman Catholic French explorer on July 2, 1679 set up the flag of France in a Dakota village located within the sacred Mille Lacs Lake Dakota homeland and spiritual center and "claimed" that this sacred Minnesota Dakota homeland, where the Dakota had lived for several hundred years, now "belonged" to France. And later, by succession, it "became" England's. And even later, (by succession, and in accordance with the despicable "doctrines of discovery") it came to "belong" to the United States of America and the State of Minnesota;

Whereas, the arrival of the Roman Catholic French colonizers in the Mille Lacs Lake region was the beginning of the Papal instigated and sanctioned theft of the Dakota people's sacred Mille Lacs homeland and spiritual center. The completion of that initial act of theft came later when colonial Frenchmen tricked and abusively used a newly arrived band of displaced Ojibwe from the east (now known as the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) to violently force the Dakota people from their sacred Mille Lacs homeland;

Whereas, on the Minnesota DNR Web site there is the following statement: "Early White/Indian intervention played an important role in the settlement of the area by white men. The French, instigated fights between the Ojibwe and Dakota so as to ally themselves with the Ojibwe." It was easier to "subjugate" a newly arrived displaced Eastern tribe than a tribe that had long standing ancestral ties to the land. And it was also easier for them to be "brought to the faith itself". The Dakota's traditional religion was deeply interconnected with their sacred Lake Mille Lacs (Mde Wakan), where they have a creation story. The Ojibwe's religion was foreign to the Mille Lacs region, making it easier for them to be "brought to the faith itself";

Whereas, these are the "doctrines of discovery" reasons why the French colonizers wanted the Dakota to leave or be forced from their Mille Lacs homeland. And the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe acknowledge, to this present day, that their ancestors received gun powder from French settlers and then used gun powder bombs to force the Dakota from their Mille Lacs homeland;

Whereas the Ojibwe band that violently force the Dakota people from their sacred Mille Lacs homeland were granted by the United States of America, the stolen Dakota land to live on and received treaty rights to. They were not, however, granted the right to have absolute root ownership of the land they would occupy. Nor were they granted full independent sovereign nation status and rights;

Whereas, because of the United States of Americas' belief in the "doctrines of discovery", collectively called the Doctrine of Discovery, Minnesota Dakota and Ojibwe tribes were denied their fundamental human rights: To be fully independent sovereign nations and have absolute root ownership of land within Minnesota, or anywhere else in the United States of America;

Whereas, the State of Minnesota, following the lead of the Hawai'i Conference of the United Church of Christ, the State of Maine Episcopal Church and the U.S. national Episcopal Church's, repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, and in anticipation of what could be a great awakening of the American conscience, officially repudiates the Doctrine of Discovery;

Whereas, the Dakota people's annexation from their Mille Lacs homeland in the mid 1700s forced the Dakota to move to the southern half of the state which would bring them into close contact and eventually conflict with the white settlers. From that point on, survival for the Dakota people would become a daily struggle, a struggle that would eventually be the cause of the "Dakota conflict of 1862";

Whereas, after this conflict, the Minnesota state government asked President Lincoln to order the immediate execution of all 303 Dakota males found guilty in a kangaroo court. He offered the following compromise to the politicians of Minnesota: They would pare the list of those to be hung down to 39 (38 were hung). In return, Lincoln promised to kill or remove every Dakota from Minnesota. Most of Minnesota's Dakota people were forced from Minnesota, exiled to reservations in different states and to Canada as well and abusively stripped of their cultures over a century ago. For the most part, it was the Euro-American Christian society, which was misled by the Doctrine of Discovery, that caused this to occur. For these atrosities the State of Minnesota wholeheartedly apologizes;

Whereas, the policies toward Minnesota Indian tribes and the breaking of covenants with these Indian tribes have contributed to the severe social ills and economic troubles in many Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana and Canada native communities today;

Whereas, Minnesota native peoples are endowed by the Creator with inalienable or fundamental human rights, including the right to be fully independent sovereign nations and have absolute root ownership of their ancestral homelands. And also the right to religious freedom, which includes the right for them to re-establish their traditional religions within their sacred ancestral homelands. Now, therefore, be it resolved by the State of Minnesota to:

(1.) apologize for years of official mistreatment and abuse regarding Minnesota Indian tribes; and

(2.) apologize on behalf of the people of Minnesota to all the Native people who have been harmed by the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by the citizens of the State of Minnesota; and

(3.) expresses its regret for the ramifications of former offenses and its commitment to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future where all the people of what is now known as the State of Minnesota live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together; and

(4.) acknowledge the root cause of the subjugation and exploitation of Minnesota Indian tribes, as being the papal bull of 1493 (Inter Caetera); wherein, Pope Alexander IV directed colonial European nations to go to the Americas and "subjugate" the "discovered" people and their lands, and bring them to the faith"; and

(5.) acknowledge that the Papal bull (Inter Caetera) was one of a series of 15th century papal bulls or "doctrines of discovery", collectively known as the Christian Doctrine of Discovery, a doctrine which led to the colonizing dispossession of indigenous peoples from their lands and to the dehumanization and subjugation that these peoples experience to this present day, a doctrine that was used to establish the basis of U.S. federal/Indian law, as well as used to influence American citizens, including Minnesota citizens, to conform to a unified white racist or white supremacist and inhumane religious sectarian proselytizing mind set that was, and still is, the root cause of the subjugation and exploitation of Minnesota Indian tribes as well as all other U.S. Indian tribes; and

(6.) acknowledge the offenses of Minnesota citizens against Indian tribes in the history of Minnesota in order to bring healing to this land by providing a proper foundation for reconciliation between the State of Minnesota and the Indian tribes that have been subjugated and exploited by Minnesota citizens; and

(7.) acknowledge that this apology is meant to be the foundation for repatriation, redress and compensation resolution regarding lands and resources as well as judicial and legislative processes for the purpose of healing the painful wounds caused by ethnocide and genocide. "Redress can include restitution of traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used lands and resources. Or if return of original lands is not possible, compensation shall take the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality, size and legal status", as stated in an - implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - document; and

(8.) commends other state governments that have begun reconciliation efforts with Indian tribes located in their boundaries and encourages all state governments similarly to work toward reconciling relationships with Indian tribes within their boundaries.


Note: Prominent Minnesota Christian Church leaders and other Minnesota religious organizations' leader's statements associated with our requests for apology letters to go along with the Minnesota apology resolution can be viewed and read by clicking
Christian leader's statements.

The reconciliation resolution that Rep. Urdahl introducted to the legislature is also posted on my web site.

Information about the bill to change Minnesota's derogatory geographic place names can be viewed and read by clicking Minnesota bill

Links to information about the Inter Caetera Papal Bull.
information about Inter Caetera
information about Inter Caetera
more information about Inter Caetera
more information about Inter Caetera
exposing the - Doctrine of Discovery - big Vatican cover up