Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Come and honor the HEAVENLY  FATHER this Father's Day (June 19) during  World Peace and Prayer Day 2011.  More details will be shared as they are finalized, but I'm excited to share the link for more information about an official attempt at the Guinness Record for the World's Largest Group Hug.

Come be part of this fun event & welcome the PEACE RIDERS--many who are from First Nations -- as they arrive on horseback at Bdote after riding across North America several weeks.  Just by being part of the welcome committee, you will be an instrument of peace. Imagine if 10,500+ people were there to welcome the riders, a stark contrast from the 1862 forced march when the women, children and elderly walked nearly 150 miles to Fort Snelling where they were held at a concentration camp before being exiled and many of their men hung. (The day after Christmas 1863 was the largest mass execution in United States history as 38 Dakota were hung simultaneously in Minnesota). 

Dakota concentration camp at Fort Snelling 1862
The official state and national policy in 1862 was for extermination or exile.  Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey declared: “The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.”   Those Dakota who defied the government policies and fled were hunted with government approved $200 bounties on their heads.

And now this June, nearly 150 years later, Peace Riders including Chief Arvol Looking Horse will arrive in the county named after Governor Ramsey and they are inviting those who currently live on the Dakota ancestral homeland to come pray with them and to create a new history together.
Is there a way that we can create an out-of-the-box way to help bring healing?  Can we support a government decision to shut the Mendota Bridge rather than complaining about a highway closing for a couple hours?   Can we stand in solidarity even if we don't understand everything?  Can we acknowledge the legacy of generational pain caused by these genocidal policies?   Can take the time to simply slow down and get to know each other?  Can we create the space and time to allow them to pray at their sacred site?  Rather than waiting for 2012 to come and for our elected officials to craft documents and resolutions, can we bring actions NOW that demonstrate that non-indigenous people are willing to listen?  Rather than compromise where everyone loses something, can we be part of creating a new bridge to a new future together? 

What a beautiful picture of unity as participants from all different backgrounds create the time and space that will help allow First Nations spiritual leaders to come pray in their sacred way at Bdote, Minnesota USA.  Stand together and support their right to pray -- Now THAT would be true Minnesota Hospitality!