The U.S.-Dakota War


  • Dakota 38 (Smooth Feather Productions) In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862. Now, four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution.
  • The Dakota Conflict (KTCA, 56 minutes, 1993): Explores the causes, events and aftermath of the fierce fighting that broke out in 1862 between Minnesota’s white European settlers and the native people of the state.
  • The Dakota Exile (KTCA, 56 minutes. 1996): Beginning in 1862, the federal and state government began to drive the Dakota people from Minnesota. The story of their exile is told through the words of Dakota elders and tribal historians.
  • The Past is Alive Within Us: The Dakota U.S. Conflict (TPT, one hour, 56 minutes, 2013) This documentary examines one of the most difficult chapters of Minnesota’s history: the state’s involvement in the Dakota War as the Civil War was simultaneously raging. It’s a mix of historical information & contemporary stories & is designed to build a better understanding of historical interpretation & encourage critical thinking.
  • Minnesota’s Uncivil War (MPR, 20:37, 2002): Radio documentary and other resources on the Dakota-U.S. War.