They Were Stories

I think people of . . . my generation never really felt that Indians were really part of the past of this place. They were stories, like Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

–Mary Wingerd (author of North Country: The Making of Minnesota) on the collective Minnesotan memories of Native Americans.

John Biewen’s “Little War on the Prairie” aired at Noon on MPR today. If you missed it, it’ll be re-aired at 7pm tonight.

We’ve heard a lot about the Dakota War this year as it’s the 150th anniversary of the confrontation. We may have to do more than memorialize it, however. If the quote above is any indication, we may need to remind ourselves that the people involved weren’t characters in dime novels but real people.

For more on Little War on the Prairie, click here.

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