Dakota Human Rights Violations In Anoka, Minnesota
By Thomas Dahlheimer
The Dakota people are starting to return to their traditional/ancestral homelands. I believe that the annual
"Wapasha Prairie/Dakota Homecoming and Gathering" in Winona, Minnesota and also the
appearance of Jim Anderson, the co-cultural chair and historian
for the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community, at the Anoka County Historical Society Center during the, combined,
2007 Anoka County sesquicentennial celebration
and annual Anoka Riverfest and craft fair event verifies this
Jim Anderson in Anoka
And further verification of this statement occurred when Jim Anderson told the mayor of Anoka (Bjorn Skogquist)
that the Dakota people will be returning to
Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum"
River Watershed ancestral/traditional homeland, including the area now named Anoka.
In fact, Jim Anderson said that Anoka will be the first city that the Dakota people will be returning to. And his appearance
during the, combined, 2007 Anoka County sesquicentennial celebration and annual Anoka Riverfest and craft fair event was, as
stated in a
flier that Anderson pasted out during the event,
was the beginning of the Dakota people's return to the Anoka part of their sacred Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum"
River Watershed ancestral/traditional homeland.
More recent verification: In an Isanti County News
article about a 2008 Wakan Wakpa (Rum River) Canoe Expedition that
provided a group of inner-city Dakota boys from Minneapolis and St. Paul an opportunity to paddle the natural artery of their
ancestors - an expedition that was sponsored by Healthy Nations, an Eliminating Health Disparities grantee agency of the Minnesota
Department - LeMoine LaPointe, director of the Healthy Nations Program at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, is quoted:
"Their 165-mile paddle from Mille Lacs Lake to Minneapolis commemorated many important aspects of Dakota
history and culture...
"The Rum, known for centuries as Wakan Wakpa (Holy River), is an important spiritual and cultural artery to the Dakota who, until 1745,
lived at Mille Lacs (Mde Wakan) and considered it the center of their world."
"These young people are taking the initiative to scout the length of the river in order for their tribe to become familiar with it,
and in so doing, reclaim their tribal legacy."
"Over thousands of years of repeated use of that river Indian people saw something there that was good for them, and infused
that into their physical and spiritual health. Knowing and interacting with that river had an enormous positive impact on them."
LaPointe says it's also important to the health of Native American people that the river be called
by its original name.
"Rum is a pollutant, a destructive chemical. It's not a poison river, it's a holy river."
"That river has contributed to the development of successful tribal communities for thousands of years. Recognizing it as
Wakan Wakpa, Holy River, reattaches a positive connotation that will be felt in mind, body and spirit in many different ways."
LaPointe says reclaiming the Rum River is important to the health of the Dakota community.
Leonard Wabasha, a hereditary chief of the Mdewakanton Dakota people and director of the Shakopee
Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota)
Community Cultural Resources Department, has given his approval of my work associated with writing an Anoka Dakota Unity Alliance
document. I am preparing the way for the Dakota people to return to Anoka and the rest of their
(Great Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed ancestral/traditional homeland. Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn Archbishop of Saint Paul
and Minneapolis has called this returning of the Dakota to their Wakan/"Rum" River Watershed ancestral homeland
Governments are obligated to respect and protect the human right to freedom from cruel, inhuman or derogatory treatment and
freedom from incitement to hatred and group defamation. I am committed to researching and advocating on behalf of the Dakota
people - whose human rights (I believe) are, in a number of ways, being grossly violated in Anoka. And I am also working to
gain a Dakota consensus on the details of what these believed human rights violations are.
A Violation Of The Dakota's Human Right To Be Free Of Derogatory Hate Speech In Anoka.
The following information about a believed Dakota hate speech human right violation in Anoka is, I believe, associated with
the Dakota's human right to absolute root ownership of their ancestral homeland,
independent sovereign nation status and the
right to recieve due respect for their traditional religion.
According to a United Nations' World Conference Against Racism
document: "In the fifteenth century, two Papal Bulls set the stage
for European domination of the New World and Africa. Romanus Pontifex, issued by Pope Nicholas V to King Alfonso V of
1452, declared war against all non-Christians throughout the world, and specifically sanctioned and promoted the conquest,
colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories. In Pope Alexander VI's papal bull of 1493
(Inter Caetera), he stated his desire that the 'discovered' people be 'subjugated
and brought to the
faith itself.' By this
means, said the pope, the 'Christian Empire' would be propagated. These Papal Bulls, or 'doctrines of discovery', sanctioned
Christian nations to claim 'unoccupied lands', or lands belonging to 'heathens' or 'pagans'".
"DuLuth traveled as far as the Dakota headquarters encampment, on the southwest shores of Lake Mille Lacs, and on July 2, 1679,
claimed the area as a possession for King Louis XIV."
This was the white European invader's first violation of the Dakota's human right to ownership of their Wakan (Great
Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed homeland. And along with the white European invader's Dakota human right violating claim
homeland...the white Europeans, by claiming the Dakota's land, also violated the Dakota's human right to full independent sovereign
nation status. The
subjugating the Dakota people had begun.
And then in 1823, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling
(Johnson v. McIntosh) adopted the same principle of subjugation expressed in the
Inter Caetera Bull. This Papal Bull and the Supreme court ruling (Johnson v. McIntoch), a ruling based on the
Inter Caetera Bull " a doctrine of discovery" (they were used as legal precedent), have been,
and continue to be, violations of the Dakota's fundamental human rights associated with absolute
ownership of their ancestral homeland, complete sovereignty status and, because the Dakota's
is intimately connected with their relationship to their ancestral/traditional homeland, the Inter Caetera Bull and the
Supreme court ruling (Johnson v. McIntoch), have been, and continue to be violations of the Dakota's fundamental human right to
receive due respect for their traditional religion in Anoka and through
out the rest of their sacred Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed ancestral/traditional
Regaining The Dakota's Mille Lacs Ancestral Homeland
Tony Castanha, an internationally renowned leader of the movement to influence the
Roman Catholic hierarchy to revoke
the 15th century Papal Bull [Inter Caetera] read my article
Changing The Racist Name of the Knights of Columbus and watched
my Anoka, Minnesota youtube.com video
Protesting The Racist Name Of the Knights of Columbus he contacted me and
gave his support for the work I am doing to influence the Roman Catholic hierarchy to revoke Inter Caetera, and to also put an end to
the glorification of Christopher Columbus and his knights, who, claimed the indigenous peoples land that
they came in contact
with and also committed a genocide against.
Revoking the Papal bull, Inter Caetera, would help restore the fundamental human rights of the Dakota people as well as all
other indigenous peoples throughout the U.S.A.. A movement to revoke the papal bull has been ongoing for a number of years.
It was initiated by the Indigenous Law Institute in 1992. At the Parliament of World Religions in 1994 over 60 indigenous
delegates drafted a Declaration of Vision. It reads, in part: "We call upon the people of conscience in the Roman Catholic
hierarchy to persuade Pope John II to formally revoke the Inter Caetera Bull of May 4, 1493, which will
restore our fundamental human rights."
Steve Newscomb, the co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute
and an internationally renowned leader of the movement to influence Pope Benedict IV to revoke Inter Caetera, read
my Indigenous Peoples Liturature posted article
Proposals to heal the genocidal wounds of indigenous peoples,
an article that presents my proposal to influence the Pope to revoke the Inter Caetera Bull, Mr. Newscomb
contacted me and wrote in a reply e-mail message: "Thanks Thomas, good work!"
After sending Indian Country Today (ICT), the world's leading American Indian news source, a story
idea...Rob Capriccioso, a popular author for ICT, called and interviewed me for
article about the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission's acknowledgement that
Minnesota committed ethnocide and genocide against American Indians during its early history. During the interview, I
told Mr. Capriccioso about my work to influence Pope Benedict IV to formally revoke Inter Caetera. At the time, he told me
that he had authored a ICT
article about the movement
to influence the Pope to revoke the Bull. And then later, after sending Capriccioso an update report on the native
activist rights work I am doing, he sent me a response message wherein he thanked me for my update report as well as presented a
link to a more recent ICT
article of his about 13 Native grandmothers going to the Vatican to try to influence
the Pope to revoke the Inter Caetera Papal Bull.
On July 25. 2008 Indian Country Today (ICT) published, both, an old
letter to the editor of mine that had been published in
the Saint Cloud Visitor, a Minnesota Catholic diocesan newspaper, as well as another article about the same topic, an article that was written
by the ICT author Kevin White, an article titled,
Toward indigenous independence.
As the Dakota return to Anoka and the rest of their sacred Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed ancestral/traditional
homeland...they will be returning to their sacred mendota,
'meeting place of waters', located at the confluence of the Wahkon
(Great Spirit)/"Rum" and Mississippi rivers, and to the rest of their sacred Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed
----------------------Meeting place of waters in Anoka
When they arrive and enter into their Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River ancestral homeland territory they will be entering
into a sanctuary of theirs. The Dakota's ancestors did not build churches or temples to be sanctuaries for them to gather
in and honor their Great Spirit. Their sanctuary, in what is now known as Anoka, was their sacred river and land on both
sides of it. When the great reunion begins, the Dakota will be returning to Anoka in numbers and they will be returning to a
sanctuary of theirs.
Upon arriving, they will become aware of what is sacred and what is profane within this sanctuary of theirs.
Upon the south bank of their Anoka area sanctuary they will see a Roman Catholic - Inter Caetera Papal Bull and
genocidal maniac Christopher Columbus glorifying - building of the Knights of Columbus.
And upon closer examination they will see a gross desecration of their sacred Dakota sanctuary, it being comparable to
a Nazis swastika in a Jewish synagogue. I am referring to the desecrating logo located on the Knights of Columbus
building. I believe that this Knights of Columbus logo is a gross violation of the Dakota human right to receive due
respect for their traditional religion, their human right to own land and their human right to full sovereignty. I
also believe that it constitutes HATE SPEECH, a gross violation of a Dakota human right.
Access to sacred Native sites is also a human right associated with governments responsibility to giving due respect
for Native's traditional religions. Because all of the City of Anoka "belongs" to the United States, the City of
Anoka can not give it, or even a part of Anoka, back to the Dakota. However, I believe that in order to show due respect
for the Dakota's traditional religion...or, in order to not violate a Dakota human right, the City of Anoka should give the
Dakota the land now called
Point Two Rivers Historic Park, an ancient and sacred Dakota sacred site and gathering
place. And give it to them for sacred gatherings, where they can come and pray, meditate, take part in sacred ceremonies,
remember and honor their ancestors who uses to gather together at "the point", a sacred Dakota site.
Another Violation Of The Dakota's Human Right To Be Free From Derogatory Hate Speech In Anoka.
Hate speech contributes to the commission of gross human rights violations. I believe that parks, trails and nature areas, etc.
that are located in Anoka and any where else within the Dakota's sacred Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed
ancestral/traditional homeland and are also named with the derogatory "Rum River" name constitute HATE SPEECH, a gross
violation of a Dakota human right.
A quotation from a historical document written by Vickie Wendel, the manager of the Anoka Country Historical Society Center
and a board member of the Anoka Country Historical Society. In this historical document (River file # 26) Wendel informs us
that..."in a 1868 St. Paul Daily Pioneer article, the "Rum" River name is listed, along with some other geographic names,
"The 'profane name' was already in use by some in 1861, as was the animosity toward the native people of Minnesota.
A St. Paul newspaper reported."
A quotation from "Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origins and Historic Significances" by Warren Upham, published
by the Minnesota Historical Society: "Nicollet's map, published in 1843, has 'Iskode Wabo or Rum R., this name given
by the Ojibways, but derived by them from the white men's perversion of the ancient Sioux name Wakan, being in more
exact translation "Fire Water."
Another quotation from "Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origins and Historic Significances": The name of Rum
river, which Carver in 1766 and Pike in 1805 found in use by English-speaking fur traders, was indirectly derived
from the Sioux. Their name of Mille Lacs, Mde Wakan, translated Spirit lake, was given to its river, but was changed
by the white man to the most common spirituous liquor brought into the Northwest, rum, which brought misery and ruin,
as Du Luth observed of brandy, to many of the Indians..."
After eleven years of working to change the HATE SPEECH derogatory name of the "Rum" River, and having received
Minnesota Dakota/Indian tribal, international, national and state-wide
supporters for the effort, including support
from the Minnesota Historical Society Indian Advisory Committee, the Upper Sioux Community and the Mendota
Mdewakanton Dakota Community...the City of Anoka has still not given its support for the effort to change the river's
derogatory name, nor has it changed the name of a park, trail or nature area with the derogatory "Rum River" name;
which, I believe, is promoting HATE SPEECH, a gross violation of a Dakota human right.
I believe that because the "Rum River" name desecrates a sacred Dakota site as well as indirectly desecrates
the Dakota's traditional name for their Great Spirit (Wakan), that the "Rum River" name is, therefore, a gross
violation of a religious human right of the Dakota people. And I believe that because the City of Anoka has
not yet given its support for the effort to change the profane name of the "Rum River", it is, therefore,
continuing to grossly violate a religious human right of the Dakota people. And I believe that because Anoka
has not changed the names of any of its parks, trail, or nature area, etc. that have the profane "Rum" River
name, Anoka, therefore, in respect to these profanely named parks, trial, nature area etc., continues to
grossly violate a religious human right of the Dakota people.
I also believe that, with the exception of Cambridge, Minnesota, all of the other cities and counties located
on the Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River corridor are also grossly violating these same Dakota human rights.
I believe that Cambridge still has a ways to go before it is fully respecting all of the Dakota people's
human rights. However, I believe that it is making good progress toward achieving this goal.
I also believe that the advertising and selling of alcoholic beverages in Anoka and through out the
sacred Dakota's Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed ancestral/traditional homeland...or, the
advertising and selling of addictive and dangerous substances that were used by the white European
invaders to lure many of the Dakota from their sacred Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed
homeland (a part of the Dakota land stealing process), and also used by white European invaders to
instigate and foment Dakota/Ojibwe intertribal warfare, which lead to a band of Ojibwe being tricked
and used by the white European invaders to force, with the help of French guns and gun powder bombs,
the remaining Dakota from their sacred Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed homeland
(another part of the Dakota land steal process) - constitutes HATE SPEECH, a gross violation of
a Dakota human right.
Violations Of The Dakota's Human Right To Adequate Health Care in Anoka.
Governments are obligated to respect, protect and fulfill the human right to health by taking positive action to
protect all of the different ethnic/racial/cultural group's health and by refraining from or
actions that interfere with their health. I am committed to researching and advocating on behalf of the Dakota
people who, I believe, are being denied their human right to adequate health care in Anoka.
To this present-day the
alcohol-abuse genocide being perpetrated against Natives
within the Dakota's ancestral homeland. In a
Mille Lacs Messenger newspaper article, subtitled: "300 gather to note the toll by alcohol abuse", Melvin Eagle, the hereditary Chief
of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is quoted as saying: "Alcoholism is not our traditional way. We need to try to
pull together and away from alcohol because it is destroying our people." An article about how alcohol was used to steal the Dakota's
Wakan (Great Spirit)/"Rum" River Watershed ancestral/traditional homeland is located at
"The toll taken by alcohol-related problems on the American Indian/Alaska Native community in which
70 percent of the population lives off the reservation, is particularly staggering. For example,
The death rate due to cirrhosis is 2.7 times that of the overall population rate, and the rates of
alcohol-related hospital admissions, suicides, and automobile accidents are significantly elevated.
Overall alcohol-related mortality for AI/AN populations has been found to be almost four times that
of Caucasians. The National Household Survey of Drug Use, the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration, reported that the rate of any alcohol use in AI/AN populations was
similar to overall population rates; however, the rate of alcohol dependence was 60 percent higher.
The alcohol-related deaths among Indian adolescents ages 15 to 24 are 17 times higher than the
Study: 12 Percent Of Indian Deaths Due To Alcohol
In the United States 10% of men and 5% of women who start drinking alcohol will become habitual abusers of alcohol.
And in a study published in the March 2004 issue of
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research - evidence clearly shows
that even small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can have a significant impact on child development." This study found that: "There is
no safe level of drinking during pregnancy and there is no safe time to drink during pregnancy." Multitudes of pre-born babies are being
killed or severely brain damaged by their mother's consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. In the U.S., 15% of pregnant women
I believe that the City Council of Anoka is not doing what it should to minimize, and ultimately band, the
advertisements and sells of alcoholic beverages in the City of Anoka. I believe that bars and liquor stores
in Anoka are a violation of the Dakota's and other vulnerable people's human right to adequate health care.
A high percentage of the Dakota people are prone to catch the decease of alcoholism. When alcoholic beverages
are advertised and easily available, they increasingly become a very dangerous and addictive substance that many
Natives, including many Dakota people, have had a very difficult time not abusing. This has lead to many Natives of
all tribes becoming victims to the
white man's human rights violating actions that interfere
with their and other
vulnerable people's health.
During our nation's prohibition of alcohol era there was a movement to change the Rum River name. At the time, a
lot of people did not want rivers and other geographic places to have names that were advertisements for alcoholic
beverages, or addictive products that they considered harmful to society.
All of Anoka's city parks, trails, nature area, etc. that have a name that includes the name of an dangerous
and addictive substance, such as (rum), should be changed. Their names are advertisements for an alcoholic
beverage, or an addictive product that is harmful to the Dakota people's health. A group of people/tribe with a high
percentage of its members being prone to catch the health and life destroying disease of alcoholism.
I believe that the parks, trials, nature areas with the Rum River name are violations of a human right
associated with not preventing negative actions that interfere with the Dakota's health care. When the
City Council of Anoka allowed parks, a trail, and a nature area, etc. to be named with the name of an
addictive and dangerous produce, such as rum, it did not prevent negative actions that interfere with,
both, the Dakota's health as well as to other vulnerable people's health. And this, I believe is a gross
violation of a human right of theirs.
The Roman Catholic Church in Anoka, Saint Stephens Church, is also located in the Dakota's sanctuary. And this
Roman Catholic Church
lifts up and glorifies an alcoholic beverage during weekend and daily Masses. This, I
believe, also desecrates the Dakota's sanctuary, and is therefore a violation of the Dakota human right to
receive due respect for their traditional religion in Anoka. I also believe that it constitutes HATE SPEECH,
a gross violation of a Dakota human right.