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“We Are Still Here”

January 27, 2012

Yesterday afternoon, I traveled to St. Peter with friends to hear Gwen Westerman speak. 2012 is the 150th commemoration of the brutal U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.  Millions of words will be spoken on that subject in months to come, many of them, unfortunately barbed with egos and politics. Gwen set an example yesterday in tone and candor that will difficult to match.

Gwen is Dakota and her talk, “We Are Still Here,” is a tribute to the Dakota people of Mni Sota Makoce and to their persistence in and return to their Minnesota homelands in the wake of the war.

If you have time to listen, you’ll understand why I was honored to accept Gwen’s offer to write a Foreword for A Thrilling Narrative. Her husband Glenn Wasicuna translated the Dakota language letters in the book. Gwen and Glenn will be honored guests at the public release celebration for A Thrilling Narrative at the Gideon Pond House in Bloomington on June 24, 2012. If you live locally, I hope you’ll stop in and hear Glenn and Gwen in person.

A technical note: On the linked site, on the right side of the screen, click the “on demand” tab, then select “We Are Still Here.” Gwen begins speaking at the 13 minute mark and the audio static disappears at 26 minutes.

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