Dakota 38+2 memorial ride creator dies at 74 years old

“He’s my Uncle Jim, but he became everybody’s Uncle Jim once you met him.”
Jim Miller
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 2:25 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - On March 3, the creator of the Dakota 38+2 memorial ride, Jim Miller, passed away at 74 years old.

Miller was a Vietnam veteran, a leader, and a dreamer.

His life touched many.

Miller’s nephew, Todd Finney, who shared this impactful man’s legacy in his own words:

“It was realized that he had a fairly aggressive form of cancer that is pretty synonymous with those who were exposed to agent orange in Vietnam. And if it wasn’t for agent orange, he would’ve lived a lot longer,” Dakota 38 + 2 memorial ride ayapha “voice” Todd Finney, Ta Can’te Was’te Yuha Omani, said.

“And Uncle Jim is the greatest man I’ve ever had the honor to know and I’m going to miss him a lot.

The way that he carried himself was more regal than any King I’ve ever met.

“He was a forgotten Vietnam veteran who created a movement. He became a voice for all Indigenous people of the world when he had been forgotten on the reservation.

“We’re all related. People of all Nations, colors and creeds- we’re all related we come from the same originated point. And that’s what the ride was. Anybody could come.

“And to know him was to love him and when he knew you, he loved you, too. And he’s somebody who’s going to be sorely missed. And if we can all just carry a piece of him with us, I think the world will be a better place for it.

“He’s my Uncle Jim, but he became everybody’s Uncle Jim once you met him.

“You could sit there for a minute and realize that he really meant everything he said- when he said that he cared about you and your future and what he wanted to leave behind and how you helped affect the rest of the world around you.

“And for somebody who came from the reservation, who fought in a war and came back broken and was able to find peace like that- find hope like that- and be able to spread love like that-

“To really live the words ‘forgive everyone, everything.’ It made all the difference in the world.”