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40th Annual Mahkato Wacipi begins Friday

Every September, Native Americans gather in Mankato’s Dakota Wokiksuye Makoce (Land of Memories Park) to honor the 38 Dakota warriors who were hanged there on December 26, 1862. It was the largest mass hanging in United States history. This weekend, September 21- 23, 2012, the Mdewakanton Association will sponsor the 40th Annual Mahkato Traditional Pow Wow, a weekend of dancing, singing, remembering, and reconciliation.

Cost for the event, which is open to the public, is $7 for the entire weekend. In keeping with the theme of reconciliation, both native and non-native visitors and participants are invited to attend.

Since 1972, the Wacipi has been held in Mankato featuring traditional dancing and singing as well as delicious foods and beautiful crafts. The event opens Friday at 3:00 p.m. Saturday at 9 a.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community helped sponsor this event with a $10,000 grant.

Education Day
Students from area schools will attend Education Day at the Mahkato Wacipi on Friday, September 21, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tribal elders and educators will teach students in small groups about Dakota history, traditions, and culture.

Special Session to Feature Dakota War Discussion
To mark the sesquicentennial of the 1862 War and the subsequent hanging in Mankato, a special one-hour event is planned for the 2012 Powwow in Mankato. Leaders of Minnesota American Indian communities and local non-Indian communities are being invited to talk with one another about the general topic of reconciliation. This conversation will take place on stage at the Wacipi at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, September 23. The general public is invited to attend and view this event.

Invited Artist
Bunky Echo-Hawk is a multitalented artist whose work spans both media and lifestyle. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, he is a fine artist, graphic designer, photographer, writer, and a traditional singer and dancer.. He will be creating a painting though out the weekend based on his interaction with people during the Wacipi. He will then be donating the painting to the Mahkato Mdewakanton Association.

Wacipi Grand Entry Times: Friday, September 21, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 22, 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 23, 1:00 p.m.

For more information, go to

Mankato Wacipi Concert
At 7:00 p.m., Sunday, September 23, 7:00 p.m., there will be a free concert of American Indian and orchestral music in recognition of the U.S-Dakota War of 1862 at Mankato West High School Auditorium (1351 S. Riverfront Drive), Mankato. Music will includes traditional Dakota songs performed by Mazakute; Black Hills Olowan, Brent Michael Davids, with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra.

For more information, call the MSO at (507) 625-8880 or visit

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