Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride arrives in Courtland

The Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride reached Courtland Wednesday.
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 10:01 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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COURTLAND, Minn. (KEYC) — Every year, members of the Dakota tribe ride on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota, to Mankato, arriving at Reconciliation Park on the anniversary of the 1862 hanging of 38 Dakota.

The Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride arrived in Courtland today, marking the final stop on the journey.

That journey started on Dec. 10 during a snowstorm.

Wednesday night, the group was greeted with shelter and a meal at the Courtland Community Center.

The 330-mile ride is meant to memorialize lost ancestors and remember history.

It’s to memorialize the largest mass execution in United States history that took place in Mankato on December 26, 1862.

Participants say that the ride helps teach people to take pride in their history and their culture.

“That’s the most important thing because you need to instill pride in them and you need to remind them of who they are because a lot of people, a lot of kids from where they’re at, they don’t have people to teach them, or to encourage them or to help them be proud of who they are, so this is what the ride is about, this is what we do,” said Leanne Redowl, one of the riders in this year’s journey.

It’s approaching 20 years since Josette Peltier’s brother started the tradition of the Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride. She says every year it promotes the healing of scars from a painful chapter of history.

“We have so much healing to do, all of us, everybody on this planet. There is so much hate in that. And this ride has helped me to understand that, you know, if we have all this healing to do, we need to heal within ourselves, and we have to work at, try to get to know others, to bring them in and help them understand,” said Peltier.

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