Knit to This: Little War on the Prairie

By Kay Gardiner
December 8, 2018

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  • This was originally broadcast to coincide with a year long observance of the United States Dakota War. There were many other events, including a months long exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. There is a fairly short Ebook that was published by the Star Tribine (local Minneapolis paper) at the same time which some people might be interested in called “In the Footsteps of Little Crow”, by Curt Brown. Its available on Kindle, and probably other such devices as well. The radio braidcast is both devastating and compelling, and definitely worth listening to

  • I grew up in southern MN and have always known of this portion of our history. My parents gave us opportunities to visit historical places and the stories were a part of our school ‘s MN history. I went on field trips to battle sites with school children years ago. What has changed since I was young is the Native American experience presentations/videos/books at historical sites. There is a awesome little MNHS museum near Morton….this is Mdewakanton Sioux reservation land. During the summer/fall there are many opportunities to see/hear topical lectures, pow wows, cultural festivals, etc., that remind and educate all about this sad, tragic period of time in our regional history. There are also many books written, from every possible perspective……at least 20 in my own library. We are often fascinated by far away places and their history, thinking that the local is nothing special. Sometimes it takes a visitor to your home with time to wonder with a local guide (you) to realize how many interesting places and stories there are about your local area. Don’t wait for it to be required reading or have an out of towner tell you your own history, ask your own questions and seek the answers….there’s good info out there.

  • Very sad indeed less we realize who is the immigrant then ?? Mans inhumanity to man !! Works on both sides !!

  • I lived in South Dakota thru gradeschool, not very far from the Pine Ridge Reservation. My school had 1 Native American child, and he was in my grade.

    At the beginning of 6th grade, my family moved to Texas and I learned shortly thereafter that my grandfather was born on a Reservation in Canada. Prior to that time, I thought I was Finnish and English-Canadian.

    It wasn’t until I was an adult that I understand what my mom was doing by not sharing that history.

    We we’re already complicated enough that I had a black stepfather in the early 1980s, in a state with almost no black people.

    To be be a race that was actively and publicly discriminated against in a place that that happened, especially when, as a red head I could pass… That, and my mother went to school at a time that there was still segregation.


  • Caroline Fraser’s 2017 biography, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, does a fantastic job of explaining this 1862 war. Wilder wasn’t born until 1867, but starting with the war provides much needed context for the “frontier” as the Ingalls family encountered it. I recommend!

  • I heard that episode, with additional commentary, as part of a series John Biewen’s new podcast Scene on Radio. The whole series is well worth a listen. My brother went to college in Mankato, and I never knew about that history either.

  • I am constantly fascinated by what I learn from Ira Glass and friends. The TAL podcast is one of my favorites.

  • If you want 2 fabulous historical novels that are amazing listens, try “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn and “The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock” by Imogen Hermes Gowar.

  • Thanks so much for the listening suggestions—I look forward to them. I’ll second the plug for Slow Burn. I was in my late twenties during the first term of the Clinton presidency and was aware of the various scandals—including the Monica Lewinsky affair. This podcast, while factual and thoughtful, is also a bit like a —dare I say—soap opera, and has been both entertaining and informative.