Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

In Minnesota, Ojibwe recall horror of ancestors' death march


Ojibwe stories passed down over generations say the west side of Big Sandy Lake appeared white from a distance in the summer of 1851, like it was covered in snow. But it wasn't snow.

"It was as if the snow was still there because you had bodies wrapped in birch bark and the hill was still white," said Jim Zorn as he and others paddled Wednesday across the lake to a memorial site commemorating one of the darkest times in Ojibwe history.

More than 400 Native Americans died in the winter of 1850 after the government failed to deliver promised food and treaty payments at Big Sandy Lake. Tribal members now gather every summer to remember what some call the Wisconsin death march.


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