As part of Healing Minnesota Stories’ effort to create dialogue, understanding and healing between Native and non-Native peoples, they offer Sacred Sites Tours of the Twin Cities area. These tours aim to create greater awareness and understanding of the Dakota people, the original people of this area, who too often are invisible in their homeland. The tour includes information on Dakota history, culture and sacred sites, as well as the oppression and genocide they faced, and ultimately their exile. This tour is an opportunity to learn about Minnesota history from a Native perspective through story-telling and experiencing the sites in silence/meditation/reflection.
Tours are led by Jim Bear Jacobs (Mohican) and Bob Klanderud (Dakota). Together as a group, we will visit sites located around confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, what the Dakota refer to as Bdote, or "meeting place of rivers," including:
Fort Snelling State Park
Dakota Internment Camp following The Dakota-U.S. War
Pilot Knob Hill, a traditional burial ground.
Tours are appropriate for adults and older youth. Tour groups meet at a location in Mendota near the sites and auto caravan to the sites. Car pooling usually occurs so those not preferring or unable to drive can ride with others. Address, directions, and map will be sent prior to tour. Dress for the weather with sturdy footwear rather than sandals. If weather is severe we will reschedule. Watch email if it’s questionable. We will do our best to accommodate the physical abilities of all attendees. Wheelchairs welcome as the places we go are on or very near trails. The whole tour can be accessible; contact us with specific questions. People who may have difficulty standing for story telling may want to bring lawn chairs. Those walking should expect to be on some uneven surfaces and dirt/gravel paths. We allot four hours for tours though actual times may vary.
About Jim Bear Jacobs
Born in St. Paul, he is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, an American Indian tribe located in central Wisconsin. He has degrees in Pastoral Studies and Christian Theology and has served various churches as youth minister, adult Christian educator, and director of Men’s Ministries. Presently he is parish associate at Church of All Nations Presbyterian Church. He is a cultural facilitator in the Twin Cities and works to raise the public’s awareness of American Indian causes and injustices. He is founder/convener of “Healing Minnesota Stories,” an initiative of SPIN dedicated to creating events of dialogue, education and healing, particularly within faith communities.
About Bob Klanderud
Bob (Dakota/Lakota) is a cultural teacher at Nawayee Center School, an experiential learning school for Native American youth. He also volunteers with Healing Minnesota Stories as a leader and story teller. Bob has worked for healing within Native American communities through work with Native Father’s groups, and by providing spiritual services for Native American inmates through the Department of Corrections. Bob is committed to following traditional Native ways, including being a pipe carrier, participating in Sun Dance, and hosting traditional Native sweat ceremonies. He has a grown son and lives in Minneapolis.
Suggested Reading Prior to the Tour
Diane Wilson, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life