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Associated Press, Published August 18 2012

Minn. ceremony marks 150th anniversary of start of U.S.-Dakota war

PIPESTONE, Minn. — Drumming and chanting filled the air Friday as about 300 people gathered along the Minnesota-South Dakota border to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S.-Dakota war.

The event was a symbolic welcoming home of the Dakota people exiled from the state following the war. Eight Dakota grandmothers, four on each side of the state border, exchanged eagle feathers and sage.

About 600 settlers and soldiers were killed in the six-week war that started on Aug. 18, 1862, after a group of young Dakota men attacked and killed five Meeker County settlers a day earlier. Many Dakota were starving at that time because of delayed annuity payments and unfilled treaty provisions, and a few hundred attacked to reclaim their longtime homeland.

It ended in December with the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Thirty-eight Dakota men were hanged in Mankato.

“This is a good thing and the time is ripe for healing,” said Theresa Two Bulls, an Oglala Sioux tribal member from Pine Ridge, S.D. She carried her family's ancient pipestone pipe to the event.