By Dan Linehan
The Free Press
MANKATO — Construction is under way on a memorial to honor the 38 Native Americans hanged in Mankato in 1862.
Leonard Wabasha, a Dakota Native American, blessed the site with prayer and the burning of sage Wednesday, and site work began yesterday.
“We just want people to be aware the ground is broken and we’re on our way,” said Shirley Piepho, chairwoman of the Dakota memorial commitee.
She said organizers have raised most of the $110,000 cost, though they’re still looking for donations, which can be sent to the address at the bottom of this story.
The concrete is expected to be set next week, hopefully before the ground freezes.
The memorial will be placed in Reconciliation Park, along North Riverfront Drive across from the Mankato library. It is slated to go just south of the Buffalo statue, beween two trees.
The centerpieces of the memorial are two fiberglass scrolls. One has the name of the 38 Dakota, and the other has a poem by Mankatoan Katherine Hughes and a prayer by deceased Dakota elder Eli Taylor.
It is slated to be finished before Dec. 26, the 150th anniversary of the hangings, when a dedication is planned.
Donations for the memorial can be sent to:
Dakota Memorial Committee
P.O. Box 3368, Mankato, MN 56002