“Journey Towards Reconciliation”
By Nick Coleman, Columnist Minneapolis Star/Tribune
In 2004 , the mayor of Winona, the Roman Catholic bishop and several other representatives of government and church groups apologized during an outdoor “truth and reconciliation” ceremony to members of the Dakota tribe, including direct descendants of the hereditary Dakota chiefs known as Wapasha, or Wabasha, whose Mdewakanton band of Dakota lived for generations beneath the Winona bluffs.
The first reconciliation in 2004 with a "Truth Telling Circle."
“I am hurt and I am truly ashamed of the injustices inflicted on the Dakota nation,” Mayor Jerry Miller told a gathering of several hundred people who listened to two hours' worth of testimony from tribal members who recounted family stories of suffering during more than a century of war, removal and racism. Miller, saying he was speaking on behalf of Winonans past and present, offered “our sincere, heartfelt apology for what happened” and said Winona wants to welcome the Dakota back home. More Here
Since 2002, when Rod Steiner & the Diversity Foundation began their Dakota Outreach & Reconciliation efforts, well over 30 semi-loads of beds, clothes, food & other household items have been donated by the southeastern Minnesota cities of Winona, Rochester, Rushford-Peterson, St. Charles, Wabasha-Kellogg, and others.
When Lyle Rustad of the Diversity Foundation asked what people need, Marcella Big Eagle, Director of Elderly Nutrition Programs on the reservation, said, “We need whatever you can bring.”
Diversity Foundation, Inc. delivers the needed items to Crow Creek, Santee, and other Dakota/Lakota communities.
In addition to the household items, Diversity Foundation, Inc., along with the US Marine Corps, Koch Trucking and the Prairie Island Indian and Upper Sioux Communities provides toys and books through the "Toys for Tots" program to over 10,000 youth a year to 13 Native American communities.
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For More Information On The Diversity Foundation Is Doing To Help