Minnesota Native tribe to get back land 160 years after largest mass hanging in US history

Upper Sioux Agency state park in Minnesota, where bodies of those killed after US-Dakota war are buried, to be transferred


September 5, 2023

The Upper Sioux Agency state park near Granite Falls, Minnesota. Photograph: Trisha Ahmed/AP

Golden prairies and winding rivers of a Minnesota state park also hold the secret burial sites of Dakota people who died as the United States failed to fulfill treaties with Native Americans more than a century ago. Now their descendants are getting the land back.

The state is taking the rare step of transferring the park with a fraught history back to a Dakota tribe, trying to make amends for events that led to a war and the largest mass hanging in US history.

"It's a place of holocaust. Our people starved to death there," said Kevin Jensvold, chairman of the Upper Sioux Community, a small tribe with about 550 members just outside the park.



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