Videos of the Dakotas' Wakan/"Rum" River Watershed traditional/ancestral homeland.

(1.) Video of the mouth of the Wakan/"Rum" River.

This sacred Dakota river flows out of Wakan/"Mille Lacs" Lake. The Dakota call this river by the sacred name for their lake [Wakan], which translated means Spirit or Great Spirit. The Dakota had a village located at this sacred site. Around the year 1750 French "settlers"/invaders tricked a newly arrived band of Ojibwe to violently force the Dakota from this sacred site of theirs. However, the Dakota are beginning to return to reclaim this sacred site. The Dakota name for the sacred land surrounding the mouth of this river is Mdo-te-mini-wakan, pronounced Bdoh-Tay-Mni-Wah kahn, and translated as Mouth (of river) + Water + Spirit.




(2.) Headwaters of the Wakan/"Rum" River

Location of ancient Dakota villages

This is a video of a stretch of the headwaters of the Wakan/"Rum" River. This area is a part of the Dakota people's traditional/ancestral Mille Lacs homeland. They had villages located along this stretch of the river. French "settlers"/invaders tricked a newly arrived Ojibwe band to violently force the Dakota from their Wakan/"Rum" River Watershed homeland territory. Later, the U.S. Government gave this band of Ojibwe, now known as the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, a part of the Dakotas ancestral homeland territory to live on and have special treaty rights to. However, all of the Dakotas ancestral homeland territory now "belongs" to the U.S.A..


(3.) Site of an ancient Dakota village located on Ogechie Lake

The Wakan/"Rum" River flows through this lake.


(4.) Wakan/"Rum" River flowing through Ogechie Lake

This video was taken from the site of an ancient Dakota
village located on Ogechie Lake


(5.) Wakan/"Rum" River in Cambridge, Minnesota

In an article published in Minnesota's best-selling state-wide daily newspaper, the Star Tribune, there are the words: Last month, the Cambridge City Council took its own stand in Dahlheimer's crusade, voting to rename "West Rum River Drive to Spirit River Drive. Along with the Cambridge campus of Anoka-Ramsey Community College and the Isanti County Active Living by Design, the city also has named a part of a new community trail system Spirit River Nature Area." "We understand we can't rename the river on our own, but we wanted to at least recognize the Native American history of this area," said Stoney Hiljus, Cambridge's city administrator.

On a Spirit River Nature Area interpretive sign there are the words: The Rum River was the super highway for the Isanti Indians. To them, this important waterway was known as Watpa Wakan, the Great Spirit River, until a white man's pun turned "spirit" into "rum".

The SPIRIT RIVER NATURE AREA is a two mile long nature area located along side the currently named "Rum" River in Cambridge, Minnesota.

To find more information about Spirit River Nature Area click more information

A Cambridge Street Sign.
Mdewakanton Activist


(6.) The Wakan/"Rum" River near its meeting with the Mississippi River.

This video zooms in on the "point", a sacred Dakota site, located at the confluence of the Wakan/"Rum" and Mississippi rivers.


(7.) Confluence of the Wakan/"Rum" and Mississippi rivers

A sacred Dakota site

Bdoh Tay is a Dakota word, it means a meeting of waters. The Dakota consider meetings of waters sacred. And they consider the meeting of the Wakan/"Rum" with the Mississippi river very sacred. This is because they are "the people born of the water of the Great Spirit". According to one of their creation stories, they emerged from the body of water they call Wakan as human beings into this world. The body of water that they call Wakan includes both their Wakan/"Mille Lacs" Lake and Wakan/"Rum" River. Therefore, this Bdoh Tay, or confluence of the Wakan/"Rum" and Mississippi river, is considered very sacred to the Dakota people.

In 1656, the Dakota were living at the headwaters of this river in five villages numbering about 5,000 people. On about July 1 hunters, 250 in number, departed, as was their custom at that time of year, to hunt the buffalo on the prairies of southern Minnesota. While canoeing down the Wakpa Wakan (Great Spirit River) they would stop and camp along the way at their favored locations. The rendezvous was at the confluence of the Wakan/"Rum" and Mississippi rivers.

More videos of the Wakan/"Rum" River in Anoka can be watch by clicking more river videos . These videos are presented within a video/movie that presents an Indigenous Peoples rights activist initiative associated with the movement to change the profane Rum River name.

This webpage is also displayed on the Mendota Mdewkanton Dakota Community's website. Click MMDC's website display of videos to view the MMDC's display of these videos.