MN Historian Calls Ft. Snelling 'Site Of Genocide'





Fort Snelling is one of Minnesota's most popular tourist attractions, daily re-enacting Minnesota's 19th century frontier life. However, critics say a darker part of the Fort's history hasn't been told.

They say Fort Snelling wasn't just a frontier outpost; it was a concentration camp for Dakota.

Waziyatawin, of Granite Falls, holds a doctorate in history from Cornell. She says Fort Snelling needs an extreme makeover. She wants it torn down.

"It feels like a constant assault on our Dakota humanity," said Waziyatawin.

Waziyatawin's ancestors were among those caught up in Minnesota's bloody Dakota War in 1862. That winter, 1,700 Dakota, mostly women and children, were imprisoned outside the Fort. Hundreds died from disease, exposure and murder before their forced removal from Minnesota. Thirty-eight were hung at Mankato, still the largest mass execution in US history.

"I don't want the Fort sitting on that site of genocide," she said. "I don't want the American flag flying high. I don't want soldiers reenacting marching out to that site and firing cannons every day."...

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