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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