The Saint Paul Pioneer Press recently ran an editorial by four Minnesota historians that stated, "Typically it is those doing good deeds who are memorialized, not mass murderers. For the Minnesota Historical Society to provide a remembrance space for Dakota warriors Shakopee and Medicine Bottle without providing comparative space for the many Dakota, mixed bloods and others who helped settlers reach safety from hostility is extremely offensive."

Both Shakopee and Medicine Bottle were accused of killing white women and children. I do not support the killing of women and children, but if most Minnesotans believe it was not murder when the white man killed the Dakota on the battlefield, they are living in a fantasy.

Push the Dakota to the brink, push the Dakota to where they see no alternative but war and then the out-manned and outgunned Dakota are crushed on the battlefield. Whites think to this day that this was a legitimate killing contest known as a war — that whites were defending themselves.

In 1862, there was no difference between Dakota men butchering woman and children and the more powerful white man butchering Dakota men on the battlefield.

There is no war, but there is manipulation and opportunism.

The white man manipulated the situation and was opportunistic in using the war to take care of the "Indian problem."

Frank Erickson

Minneapolis

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