Annual Dakota 38 + 2 memorial ride started as a dream
The last 4 senior riders from the original ride will be retiring, which will mark the end for the Dakota 38 + 2 memorial ride.
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Dakota 38+2 memorial ride has been a staple in Mankato for 17 years.
This year is the 160th anniversary of the tragic public mass execution of 38 Dakota men and two others in downtown Mankato on Dec. 26, 1862, following the U.S.-Dakota War.
And the memorial ride brings awareness to this history, which allows riders to pray for others and ask for forgiveness.
“It can be solemn, but once you know the truth, that’s when you can actually heal,” said Dakota 38 + 2 memorial ride ayapha “voice” Todd Finney, Ta Can’te Was’te Yuha Omani. “That’s when you can actually move forward because that’s when forgiveness can be given out.”
But this year, the last four senior riders from the original ride will be retiring, which will mark the end for the Dakota 38 + 2 memorial ride.
“The riders and the horses have sacrificed a lot over the years to bring about the message of the ride with them,” explained memorial ride staff carrier, and brother of Miller, Wilfred Kebble. “Awareness, forgiveness, healing, the reconciliation -- all these things: it reaches the world. The spirits say that His sacrifices have been acknowledged.”
“His” being former staff carrier Jim Miller, who created the memorial ride after it came to him in a dream.
“He had a dream that he was on horseback with a bunch of other riders,” said Keeble. “They were coming across what looked like to be Big Ben dam, and he understood that they were going right to Mankato.”
Right to the spot where the largest mass execution took place in U.S. history- downtown Mankato.
So, Miller took a 330-mile journey from Lower Brule, South Dakota, to Mankato -- which is the route for the memorial ride -- as he tried to understand this dream.
“He started talking to some of his elders,” said Finney. “He said, ‘well, why would they want a Lakota guy to have a Dakota dream?’ And then through the years he found out that he is actually descendant- most of us who ride are all descendants of the men that were hung in Mankato.”
Ever since then, the Dakota 38 + 2 memorial ride has been an annual event.
And even though some dreams must come to an end, others live on.
“It’s all about a dream,” said Finney. “To not only hear the words, but to see the people just come around us help be willing to learn, be willing to understand the real truths, and just be willing to listen.”
Now, organizers say the dream is to pass legislation in the U.S. Senate for a national day of remembrance. continuing Jim Miller’s mission.
“It’s just cool that a forgotten Vietnam veteran could have a dream that affects the world,” said Finney. “If we follow our dreams, you never know what where it’s going to take us or what you’re going to do with it.”
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