Covenant of Friendship

Chairman Roger Trudell and Mayor Mark Peterson at the 2013 Great Dakota Gathering and All Nations Wacipi (Powwow) pictured here signing the Covenant of Friendship. Mr. Edward Lagace playing on flute and Reverend William Flesch are also pictured. 

Between the Dakota Nations and the City of Winona The Dakota Nations, Tribes, and Communities of the Oceti Sakowin and the City of Winona, Minnesota establish this Covenant of Friendship as a solemn commitment to the perpetual peace, friendship and compassion between the Dakota people and the people of the City of Winona; and to the mutual recognition of equal rights and respect for the Dakota language, culture and natural law.

The City of Winona, in cooperation with the Winona-Dakota Unity Alliance, agrees to make good faith efforts to preserve and protect the natural environment surrounding Winona, including known and discovered burial grounds and archaeological sites; and to continue the celebration of the Dakota Gatherings and Homecomings. The Dakota Nations agree to make good faith efforts to share their history, customs and traditions at Dakota Gatherings and Homecomings and in other educational settings to educate the people of the City of Winona, while protecting and preserving their sacred ceremonies. In
friendship and goodwill, the City of Winona and the Dakota Nations will explore areas of collaboration for the mutual benefit of their communities in areas such as education, business, health, arts and culture. Any requests for City of Winona resources must be reviewed and approved by the City Council prior to the

The Dakota Nations enter into this Covenant, as independent and sovereign nations, with the City of Winona. This Covenant of Friendship is written in both Dakota and English and both texts have equal power.

NOTE: The City of Winona approved the Covenant of Friendship on September 4, 2012 and it was signed by Mayor Jerry Miller on September 5, 2012. The Covenant is now in the process of being translated into the Dakota language. When the translation is complete, consultations will begin with the Tribal Councils of the Dakota regarding their approval of the Covenant and eventual signing ceremonies.