Monday, August 11, 2008
This past weekend saw the 9th Annual “Welcome Home” Traditional Pow-Wow of the Mendota-Mdewakanton Dakota Community.
I first became aware of the Mendota-Mdewakanton Dakota Community in 1997 when I joined with them (and with Earth First! activists and concerned neighborhood groups) to oppose the rerouting of Highway 55 through lands of special sacred significance to them. My photographic documentation of this struggle can be viewed in Gallery 7 of my Faces of Resistance online exhibit.
Recently, a feature-length documentary film about our efforts to stop the rerouting of Highway 55 premiered in Minneapolis.
At one point during the Pow-Wow on Saturday, August 9, a special tribute was paid to Carol Kratz (pictured at right) who, along with her husband Al, were the last property owners on the 5300 block of Riverview Road in South Minneapolis to relinquish their home for the sake of the reroute. Before being finally forced out by a court order in November 1998, Carol and Al and their small white house were the focal point of Camp Two Pines, the first of two encampments established to oppose the reroute.
“It’s wonderful,” said Carol in August 1998, when the encampment and the cause it championed first began getting media attention, “We’re finally getting the attention we’ve been looking for all these years.”
Carol’s husband, Al, died soon after the couple were forced out of their home. Carol passed away July 16 of this year.
Writes Marijo Moore: “American Indian dance is a form of praise and worship. It is a way to experience the interconnectedness of life through motion. Dancing is an art that was here before the conception of art ever existed. It is a necessity for Indian people - a necessary spiritual action requiring dedication and a devout sense of reverence.”
Above: My friends Lynn and James - Saturday, August 9, 2008.
Images: Michael J. Bayly.
See also the previous Wild Reed post:
Stop the Re-Route Documentary Premieres in Minneapolis