Coldwater Spring – The New History

Coldwater Spring is being replanted tomorrow (see Paganistan Weekly below), and how can restoration not be a great thing?  How this sacred place has gotten to its current condition, a bulldozed and denuded site, ready for the National Park Service (NPS), to “restore” is a very long story.  Susu Jeffrey tells it better than most anyone, and her recent article in the  “Southside Pride” community newspaper gives you an update (reprinted in full at bottom). There remains an ongoing struggle to have this site declared, as the Minnesota Historical Society supports, a Dakota traditional sacred site,  a “Traditional Cultural Property (TCP)”.
About Saturday’s NPS restoration event. Susu adds:

The National Park Service told the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community that they could not hold a pipe ceremony on opening day at Coldwater Park, Saturday, September 1, 2012. The community held a pipe ceremony anyway while the National Park Service brought in an armed man in a bullet proof vest. People considered this disrespectful at a sacred site. The park service refuses to honor the Traditional Cultural Property/sacred designation at Coldwater.The National Park Service clearcut most of Coldwater and now wants volunteers to plant toothpick trees where NPS wants new trees. NPS has solicited donations for new trees: $1,000 for a dozen; $100 for one tree. It’s an extremely dry year for new trees.  Survival is iffy.

Other Coldwater Spring events:

Offerings for the Sacred Spring on the Harvest Full Moon, Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gather at the entrance to Coldwater Springs, 7 PM – This is a crafty, child friendly gathering.

Native elders have asked people to leave offerings  “for the ancestors” at Coldwater. We will make natural offerings from the beautiful “weeds” around the front gates. The federally recognized Lower Sioux Indian Community Council declared Coldwater a Traditional Cultural Property and “sacred” in 2006. Unfortunately the National Park Service refuses to acknowledge Coldwater Springs as a sacred site for Native Americans and others.

Traditional group howl!  Full Moon celebrations at Coldwater have been observed every month since 2000.

Sunset 6:56 PM (55-minutes earlier than last full moon) Moonrise 6:27 PM (1-hour, 6-minutes earlier)

Solstice 2003 at Coldwater Spring

DIRECTIONS: Coldwater Springs is between Minnehaha Park & Fort Snelling, in Minneapolis, just North of the Hwy 55/62 interchange. From Hwy 55/Hiawatha, turn East (toward the Mississippi) at 54th Street, take an immediate right, & drive South on the frontage road for ½-mile past the parking meters, through the cul-de-sac and into Coldwater to park free.

This gathering is free and open to all. Note: This is not a “special event” since the National Park Service is not issuing any special use permits for Coldwater Springs until late spring of 2013. Info: http://www.friendsofcoldwater.org

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Mendota Dakota Pow Wow–Good for the Soul

Photos and Story by Susu Jeffrey

Mendota Dakota Pow Wow

Traditional dancer with fan and shawl

The Mendota Dakota Community celebrated their 11th Annual Welcome Home Traditional Pow Wow over the September 10th weekend in the field of St. Peter’s Church on the Mississippi bluff. The sound was the throbbing heartbeat drum with generators in the background, the ambiance—regalia and fry bread (1st batch ran out before 3:30 Saturday). The weather was perfect. These are 21st century Indian people; they know how to read treaties.

Pow Wows are joyous extended-family, cultural
gatherings with a lot of work and a lot of sitting

Mendota Dakota Pow Wow Eagle

To dance is to pray, to pray is to heal, to heal is to give, to give is to live, to live is to dance. "Why We Dance" by MariJo Moore

around visiting. Once a year-after-year you get to see the kids grow up, see the new babies and absorb hours outdoors with hundreds of dancing spirits.

Mendota Dakota Pow Wow

Fancy shawl, traditional dancers and a little girl in her jingle dress

(Please note: the photographs were taken with respectful permission only during the Saturday 1 PM, Grand Entry.)