This is the first of several video reports offering perspectives of the events of 1862 in Minnesota, and the aftermath of the U.S.-Dakota War.
MinnPost photo by Steve Date/Medicine Bottle photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society. Documentarian Sheldon P. Wolfchild, left, and his ancestor, Medicine Bottle, who was executed by hanging in 1865 at Fort Snelling along with Little Six.
Sheldon P. Wolfchild has been researching the history of Dakota people in Minnesota and interviewing elders for 15 years in preparation for the documentary film he’s in the process of finishing this summer. He calls it “Star Dreamers — the Spirit Water People.” The film weaves oral and written history and traditional Dakota beliefs together to offer a telling of the Dakota story in a way that the text books he grew up reading never did.
Wolfchild sat down with me at his home on the Lower Sioux Reservation in southwestern Minnesota, a couple of miles from the agency building where the first actual battle of the Dakota War took place on August 18, 1862. In my video interview, he talks about the events leading up to the war as seen through Dakota eyes.