Communities in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota are invited to participate in a ceremony to honor and remember the Dakota men and families imprisonment following the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862, at Fort McClellan in Davenport, Iowa. The ceremony is an opportunity to remember and reflect on a horrific part of history that is rarely told or taught, and to pray for healing between Dakota people and those who now call this region home.
The horse ceremony will travel through Prairie du Chien. Riders will begin Sept. 2 in Davenport, Iowa, and travel northwest through various Mississippi River communities before ending Sept. 19 at the Fort Snelling State Park Visitors Center in Mendota Heights, Minn.—the site of the Dakota concentration camp of 1862-63. The riders will travel 25 to 40 miles a day.
Organizers of the event would like to make it clear that this is not a “parade,” but a spiritual ride to honor the rider’s Dakota ancestors who died in Davenport.
The Unity Ride honors the Dakota warriors and family members who languished or died in the Camp McClellan prison camp in Davenport, Iowa, over a three-year period following the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862. Because the Dakota were not allowed to practice their burial rites, the dead were buried by soldiers in a mass unmarked grave in a ravine.
The Unity Ride is a spiritual and reflective experience for participants. Non-Dakota people are invited to participate but are kindly asked to register for portions of the daily events by going to the following link: www.2013unityride.eventbrite.com.