Review – MIGIZI Dakota War Video

Dakota War
Posted to YouTube by MIGIZI Communications
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYJXvV-FsAA
Reviewed July 23, 2013 

Items of Interest

None 

General Comments

  • Disrespectful – It is an insult to this history to try to cover it in a 7+ minute video.
  • Disrespectful and Unbalanced – No mention is made of traditional Dakota warfare. More than 650 innocent whites were killed; some in the worst way imaginable. This was the largest mass murder of non-combatants by Indians in U.S. history.
  • Incorrect and Unbalanced – In 1862, 100-150 young Dakota men of a Lower Sioux soldiers’ lodge made the decision to go to war. This video implies that all Dakota went to war. No mention is made of the Friendly Dakota who opposed the war. They allied with the U.S. Army, rescued the white and mixed-blood hostages and brought an early end to the war. 

Most Objectionable Statements

 The Sioux Uprising, also known as the Dakota War of 1862…
—Incorrect – It is currently known as the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

This war was an armed conflict between the U.S. Government and several bands of eastern Sioux. The cause was treaty violations.
—Disrespectful – The word Sioux is offensive to many Dakota people.
—Incorrect – While some members of other bands participated, the primary band involved was the Mdewakanton. Many were forced to participate. The majority of the Dakota people did not choose to participate.
—Incorrect – The causes of the Dakota War were many and more complicated than this.

[Photo] – Indians on horseback
—Is this correct? – Are these Dakota Indians?

The war came as a result of a number of disastrous U.S. Indian policies.—What does this mean?
—Incorrect – The causes of the Dakota War were many and more complicated than this.

The U.S. Government negotiated treaties that dispossessed the Dakota of their land and then consistently did not fulfill those treaty obligations. These were contributing factors to the frustrations that ultimately boiled over in the summer of 1862.
—Incorrect – They were not dispossessed. They agreed to sell their land.
—Disrespectful – Show that the U.S. “consistently did not fulfill those treaty obligations.”

 I think the Dakota were quite tired of what had been going on for the past hundred or so years.
—What does this mean? – What had been going on since before 1762?
—Incorrect – To say what “the Dakota” felt is not possible.

The winter of 1861 was cold and harsh and a lot of people were starving especially the older men and women as well as the children.
—Incorrect – A more careful study has to be made of how many were starving and what the U.S. did to help.

They were in a lot of pain. Annuities were late; so they were angry and they were facing a great influx of settlers that were coming in and crowding them in on the reservation. They were overwhelmed.
—What does this mean? – Who was in a lot of pain? Were they all in a lot of pain?
—Incorrect – 100-150 young Dakota men made the decision to go to war. Any discussion of causes must be done from their perspective.
—Incorrect – There were 2 reservations.
—Incorrect – The settlers were not crowding them onto the reservation. When their leaders signed the treaties, they agreed to move. Many of the Sisseton and Wahpeton villages were already on their reservation. They continued to leave the reservations for various reasons.

There were policies that were enacted that weren’t really made to benefit the Native Americans. They were for support of the U.S. Government or for the settlers that were moving into that area. The build-up, the breaking of treaty obligations was felt elsewhere.
—What does this mean? – There were policies enacted that did not benefit the Native Americans.
—What does this mean? – They were for support of the U.S. Government or settlers.
—What does this mean? – The build-up, the breaking of treaty obligations was felt elsewhere.

Map – Minnesota
Shows the present 4 federally recognized Dakota communities.
—Incorrect – There is no explanation as to who or what these communities are.
—Incorrect – There are 2 Dakota communities who are not federally recognized that are not shown on this map.

One of the main contributing factors that led up to this war was the ineptitude and inaction on the part of the government. This was manifested in treaty obligations that weren’t being fulfilled as well as agency corruption that was not being rectified. A really big part of this was the federal government was not doing its job to protect and help the Dakota people.
—Disrespectful – Show that ineptitude and inaction on the part of the government was a contributing factor.
—Disrespectful – Show that treaty obligations that weren’t being fulfilled.
—Disrespectful – Show that there was agency corruption that was not being rectified.
—Disrespectful – Show that the U.S. was not doing its job.

Drawing – [Acton] – Indian man reaching through a split rail fence to take eggs
—Incorrect – It cannot be proven that eggs were found along a fence line.

The Dakota War started on August 17, 1862.
—Incorrect – The Dakota War started on August 18, 1862.

The chiefs here – we don’t want war. There is too many of them out there. We won’t have a chance to win this war.
—Incorrect – Some of the Mdewakanton chiefs did want war.

Little Crow said to his warriors that they should not harm women and children – only kill the traders who have been causing this stuff; been doing this thing to us. So, when they went after the traders, it got out of hand and they went for it.
—Incorrect – Little Crow did not say “only kill the traders…” He said to kill those who had been robbing us so long. He did not identify who had been robbing them.
—Incorrect – Little Crow said this after the Lower Sioux Agency was attacked. The traders were attacked first because their stores contained food, guns and ammunition. People other than traders were killed.
—Incorrect – Killing the traders did not cause more than 650 whites to be killed across the frontier. This was traditional Dakota warfare.

Map – Dakota War area
—Incorrect – Birch Coulee is too far up river.
—Incorrect – Acton is too far north.

In early December, 303 Sioux prisoners were convicted of murder and rape and sentenced to death. Lincoln personally reviewed the trial records
—Incorrect – The trials began in September.
—Disrespectful – Sioux is offensive. The correct word is Dakota.
—Incorrect – Not all of the 303 were Sioux or Dakota.
—Incorrect – They were not all convicted of murder and rape.
—Incorrect – Lincoln did not personally review the trial records.

The hanging of 38 Dakota men…remains the largest mass execution in U.S. history.
—Incorrect – It was the largest simultaneous mass execution in U.S. history.

I grew up here in Minnesota and I never earned about this until I got to college.
—What does this mean? Why is this important to mention in this 7+ minute video?

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