Mankato community celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day

Monday is Indigenous Peoples Day and Mankato community members are hoping to use the day as an opportunity to educate and discuss the history of our own land.
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 8:37 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Mankato community members celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day Monday.

The city officially recognized the holiday in 2018, and Monday wraps up a week of celebration and conversation.

Organizers of Mankato’s Indigenous Peoples Day events say that the purpose is to educate about the rich history of people that have lived in this land for centuries.

“We’re just trying to correct the history that has been written, that dictates that this land was barren and nobody was here, well there was civilizations that were here, there was millions of Indigenous people here, hundreds of thousands of different tribes, and we just want that history, that truth in history told,” said Megan Schnitker, owner of Lakota Made.

Mankato is a historic place in the history of Indigenous people, and various events are held each year that recognize that history.

The Mahkato Wacipi, Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride and Indigenous Peoples Day all recognize and celebrate Indigenous cultures in the community.

Organizers of Mankato’s various events say that they see each annual event as an opportunity to continue conversations and to keep learning about other people in the community.

“There’s always more to learn, there’s always more to do, and there’s always more to share,” stated Megan Heutmaker, director of American Indian Affairs at Minnesota State University, Mankato. “I don’t know if we’ll ever, I don’t know if one can ever be done as a community learning about others. There’s so many layers of peoples and different cultures and different communities that I don’t think there’s ever an end goal, but I think there’s an always moving towards something better than what we have in this moment.”

Minnesota State Mankato had a keynote event Monday at the Ostrander Auditorium with local Indigenous author Diane Wilson.