Understanding the 1862 Dakota War from Ampers
In the summer of 1862, a group of four young Dakota men on a hunting expedition killed five settlers who lived along the Minnesota River. The event came after years of treaty violations by the United States creating dire circumstances. Increasing hunger and hardship for their families were rapidly growing. Frustrations were at a tipping point among Dakota people and this provided the spark that flared a wide scale decision to try to drive whites out of the area. Despite their depleted numbers and resources, over the next several months the Dakota attacked white settlements. It became a series of deadly battles with devastating consequences. In the terrible aftermath, U.S. Army soldiers took more than a thousand Dakota captive. On December 26, 38 Native American men were hanged -- the largest mass execution in American history. The United States Congress abolished their already meager reservations and the Dakota people were expelled from Minnesota territory. In this documentary we will explore the stories of individuals who lived through the war and experienced it differently. While hearing multiple perspectives about the conflict, we'll learn that many of the old wounds, inflicted so many years ago, still cause pain.