Nov 30th, 2012 @ 10:52 am | Author: Rhonda Fairfield
A commemoration of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 will be held December 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm in Froemke Auditorium in Foss Hall on the campus of Valley City State University, and will feature keynote speaker Dr. Elden Lawrence.

The hanging of 38 Dakota men in 1862 is the largest one-day execution in U.S. History. The Dakota people of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota live in the shadow of this historical event. In April of 1863, U.S. Congress declared all U.S.-Dakota treaties null and void, and all Minnesota reservations were abolished. The Dakota were banished from Minnesota, and bounties were placed on Dakota scalps. Many Dakota people fled to what is now North Dakota.

The sesquicentennial commemoration will include Circle of Nations School Singers and Dancers from Wahpeton, ND. Red Eagle Drums of Henning, MN will lead a drum circle following the commemoration. The keynote speaker is Dr. Elden Lawrence, President Emeritus of Sisseton Wahpeton College. Dr. Lawrence's address will highlight his expertise about the conflict based on his book titled The Peace Seekers: Indian Christians and the Dakota Conflict.

Dr. Lawrence is a former tribal college president and professor of sociology. He served two terms as a tribal council member and was appointed to a partial term as Tribal Secretary of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe. He has served as a Professor of Ethnic Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. His personal mission is bridging the gap between mainstream American and American Indian cultures.

Dr Lawrence will remain a guest at VCSU on Monday, December 3, 2012, at 7:00 pm in Froemke Auditorium of Foss Hall, as the inaugural Lecturers & Readers scholar. Lecturers & Readers endeavors to invite one author per semester in-residence to present in VCSU classes and to speak at an evening event open to the public. The title of his presentation is Caught Between Two Worlds.

Valley City State University lecture series What In The World Is Going On? and students of COMM 216: Intercultural Communication and COMM 360: Group Dynamics are collaborating to commemorate the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. VCSU's Division of Communication Arts & Social Sciences, the Office of the President, and the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs are sponsoring this event.

Both of the events, on Sunday, December 2 at 2 pm, and on Monday, December 3 at 7 pm, will be held in Froemke auditorium and are free and open to the public.

For more information, email Rob Walsh at or contact Rhonda Fairfield at 701-845-7102.