Review – MHS FR – Video

Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Ridgely Historic Site
Introduction Video
Reviewed on September 21, 2015
Updated on May 28, 2017

Items of Interest

This video was produced circa 1984.
It is viewable only at Fort Ridgely Historic Site.

General Comments

None

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Review – MHS – LSA Intro Video

Minnesota Historical Society (MHS)
Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site
Introduction Video
Posted August 23, 2015
Updated March 17, 2016

Items of Interest

In January 2014, I reviewed MHS’s Dakota War Website and posted the reviews to this blog. The website consisted of 7 parts; each with a video introduction. These 7 smaller videos have been merged into one video for use at the Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site as an introduction to the site.

This merged video was shown in New Ulm on August 17, 2015, by Dakota representatives from the Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site.

The comments below are from my original 2014 review of the videos.

The MHS Dakota War Website is located at http://usdakotawar.org/

General Comments

  • Incorrect – There are 53 incorrect statements in these videos
  • Unbalanced – There are 12 unbalanced statements in these videos
  • Disrespectful – This combined video does not represent all the people who were at the Lower Sioux Agency in 1862.
  • This video should not be shown at the Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site. A more accurate, balanced and respectful video is needed.

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Review – MHS MN River Valley Tour – Revisited

“Minnesota River Valley Tour” Minnesota Historical Society (MHS)
Call 888-601-3010 or Go to www.usdakotawar.org/mobiletour
Reviewed January 11, 2014
Updated on March 17, 2006

 Items of Interest

 This tour was reviewed earlier on this blog under the title of MHS Mobile Tour. MHS has updated this tour and changed its name to “Minnesota River Valley Tour. The previous review has been deleted. Included is a review of the Travel Guide found on the website above.  

Using a phone, tourists can call, select a location and listen to comments about that location.  

MHS started an oral history project in 2011. They interviewed white and Dakota descendants of people involved in the Dakota War of 1862. Many of the narratives in this tour are extracted from the oral history project interviews. The longer interviews can be found on the MHS Dakota War website.  

From the MHS website: “The tour is funded by a grant from the National Scenic Byways Discretionary Grants Program administered by the Federal Highway Administration.”  

As noted below, this “Travel Guide” and telephone tour are terribly unbalanced. MHS History Center Museum Director, Dan Spock, stated in an interview with Star Tribune reporter, Curt Brown, “In a situation where it’s so contentious, part of what we’re trying to address through this observance is how we can be a better institution in terms of our relationship with the Dakota…” While trying to improve its relationship with the Dakota, MHS has forgotten the white victims of the Dakota War of 1862. 

General Comments 

  • Unbalanced – In the driving tour alone, I counted a total of 135 statements made by Dakota People and only 23 statements made by whites. This undoubtedly is the most unbalanced product that I have reviewed.
  • Unbalanced – Every year, thousands of people, including children, are introduced to the Dakota War. Focusing on one side does not help them to understand what happened.
  • Unbalanced – This tour was funded by the National Scenic Byways. Did they know what they were funding?
  • Unbalanced – Very little was said about the whites after the war. A listener will conclude that the Dakota were the only victims.
  • Incorrect – Nothing in the title or introduction indicates that this tour focuses on the Dakota perspective. This is deceptive.
  • Incorrect – Many of these statements are opinions that are not factual. This distorts history.
  • Incorrect – Many of these statements are taken out of context from interviews. They lose their meaning when made to stand alone.
  • Incorrect – Many of these opinions have nothing to do with the location where they appear. The essential information about these locations is not given.
  • Incorrect – Many narratives imply that all Dakota went to war. 100-150 young Lower Dakota men made the decision for war. The majority of the Dakota did not go to war. When we examine causes, we must focus on why this small group wanted war.
  • Unbalanced – The correct count of whites killed by hostile Dakota in the Dakota War of 1862 is never given. More than 650 whites were killed. This includes about 100 soldiers, 40 women, 100 children and 410 civilian men.  Continue reading

Review – TPT The Past is Alive Within Us – Video

 The Past Is Alive Within Us: The U.S. – Dakota Conflict
A Video by TPT (Twin Cities Public Television)
http://www.tpt.org/?a=productions&id=84
or http://www.tpt.org/?a=tptUpdate&id=1867 
Updated on March 17, 2016

Items of Interest

Funding is made possible by the State Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. In other words, Minnesota tax payers financed this film.

General Comments

  • There needs to be better administration on the Legacy Fund to prevent products like this from happening again.
  • Unbalanced and Disrespectful – A great portion of this video focuses on the Dakota. Speakers in this video say that we need to understand both sides, but this is not happening in this video.
  • Unbalanced – The words “reconciliation” and “healing” are often used but are never defined. How does telling only one side, promote reconciliation and healing for everyone?
  • Incorrect – The term “concentration camp” is used to evoke images of the Nazi concentration camps. By no means was the Fort Snelling Dakota internment camp similar to a Nazi concentration camp.
  • Incorrect – The U.S. – Dakota Conflict is included in the title, but little was said about the Conflict itself.
  • Incorrect – There are many generalities that do not apply to all persons in that group.
  • Incorrect – Discussions of complicated subjects are too short.
  • Incorrect – There are statements made, without clarification, making it difficult to understand what the speaker is saying.
  • Incorrect – Who, when and where is often confusing.
  • Incorrect – It is not clear that there were two 1851 Treaties, two 1858 Treaties and two Minnesota Dakota Reservations.
  • There are many incorrect, unbalanced and disrespectful statements. See below.

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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.  Continue reading

Review – U of M Overdue Apology Video

 American Indians in Minnesota class, Spring 2012
University of Minnesota
Overdue Apology Video
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5D6682D1E9F45327&feature=edit_ok
Reviewed on July 6, 2013
Updated on March 17, 2016

Items of Interest

From the video:
This is a five part project put together by students in the American Indians in Minnesota class at the University of Minnesota (AmIn 1003, Spring 2012) and explores the idea that the injustices that Native people have endured over the course of Minnesota history deserves an official state apology…

Information is provided on the Ojibwe Indians. I did not review this information.

General Comments

  • Incorrect – The primary purpose of this video is to urge the State of Minnesota to apologize to the Indian people of Minnesota. Sadly, much time and money has been put into a false premise. The U.S. determined American Indian policy, made treaties, relocated the Indians, sentenced the 38 to hang and removed most of the Dakota from the State. The State government and it citizens had nothing to do with this. The students are blaming the State due to lack of knowledge of this history.
  • The University of Minnesota owes an apology to these students for the poor education given them on Minnesota Indian history. This video serves as proof.
  • Publishing so much wrong information does more harm than good.

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Review – MHS Internment Video

Minnesota Historical Society
U.S.-Dakota War – Internment Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS-Gelkjhhg
Reviewed July 3, 2013

Items of Interest 

This is one of several videos on the Dakota War of 1862 that the Minnesota Historical Society has posted to YouTube.

 General Comments

  • Unbalanced – I do not object to MHS producing this video. I do object to the fact that MHS did not produce a similar video on what happened to the whites after the Dakota War of 1862. This war was tragic for all ethnic groups who were involved. All groups should be remembered.

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