History

2003
1. GE04 Dakota subcommittee forms; members begin to meet and plan events.
2. Subcommittee members meet with Dakota leaders from Canada and the US in both Winona and at the Sisseton, SD reservation.

¡ 2004
1. GE04 subcommittee members visit reservations.
2. Dinner is held for invited Winona community members representing churches, public and private schools, post secondary education, and non-profits and Dakota guests.
3. 1st Gathering and Homecoming

¡ 2005
1. The subcommittee becomes the Winona Dakota Unity Alliance (WDUA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
2. 2nd Annual Gathering
3. The WDUA co-sponsors outreach with the Diversity Foundation (Minneapolis) and SEMN Technical College. Donations of clothing were collected and delivered to reservations (Dakota Outreach) by SE Tech OTR drivers.

¡ 2006
1. Annual members meeting. Program features guest speaker Cindy Lindquist, President, Candeska Cikana
(Little Hoop) Community College
2. 3rd Annual Gathering, featuring an improved Educational Encampment
3. The WDUA co-sponsors donation outreach with the Diversity Foundation (Minneapolis) and SEMN Technical College

¡ 2007
1. Annual members meeting. Program features Unity Park landscape plans, Joanne Bird and Lyon Smith, sculpture artists.
2. WDUA, WSU and local veteran groups co-sponsor Veterans Honoring Ceremony at WSU, especially honoring Woodrow Keeble (recipient of the Medal of Honor), Clarence Wolfguts, and George Wabasha. Local and tribal honor guards participated as well as the Mazakute Drum Group.
3. The WDUA helps to facilitate school performances at District 861 featuring Jackie Bird and Mazakute Drum Group.
4. 4th Annual Gathering, theme of “Honoring Our Veterans”
5. Veteran bricks honoring American Indian veterans are added to the memorial walk at Lake Park.
6. The WDUA co-sponsors donation outreach with the Diversity Foundation (Minneapolis) and SEMN Technical College.

¡ 2008
1. Annual members meeting. Program features board member speakers, developments of Unity Park, truth and reconciliation circle, Dakota Outreach, and Minnesota Capital for a Day.
2. The WDUA co-sponsors “Dakota Uprising” and “Dakota Exile” films at the Frozen River Film Festival. Dakota elder, Mike Holtane, speaks to the audience after the film.
3. The Capital For a Day activities include Mazakute Drum, Ho Chunk Drum, Anishinabe Drum, and Dakota, Ho Chunk, Anishinabe honor guards. In recognition of Capital for a Day, a truth and reconciliation circle is held and includes indigenous people of Minnesota.
4. 5th Annual Gathering, theme of “Celebrating Unity”
5. Veteran bricks honoring American Indian veterans are added to the memorial walk at Lake Park.
6. Mazakute Drum performs at the multicultural presentation with Winona’s Paddle For Life and Capital for a Day activities.
7. The WDUA co-sponsors donation outreach with the Diversity Foundation (Minneapolis) and SEMN Technical College.
8. The WDUA initiates work on the Covenant of Friendship and Reconciliation, formalizing the new relationship between the City of Winona and Dakota Nations (Covenant).

¡ 2009
1. Annual members meeting. Program features guest speaker Ramona Kitto, Indian Education
2. The WDUA co-sponsors “American Outrage” with Frozen River Film Festival
3. 6th Annual Gathering, theme of “Honoring Women”
4. Veteran bricks honoring American Indian veterans are added to the memorial walk at Lake Park.
5. Dakota Gold Star mothers (lost children in active duty) and Blue Star mothers (children currently in active duty) are honored with specially designed shawls. Women veterans and women in active service are also honored.6. Fundraising concert features Lightwalker.
8. American and Canadian reservation are visited to finalize the Covenant.

¡ 2010
1. Annual meeting, January 25. Program features Dennis Gill discussing Wahpekute Dakota history and Chris Kendall performing his Winona/Dakota songs.
2. 7th Annual Gathering, theme of “Celebrating Our Children.” Harold Blacksmith and Travis Mazawasicuna direct Dakota language activities. Our locally developed Dakota language bingo is introduced. The Little Birds perform Saturday night concert. Spiritual services are directed by Rick Thomas and Danny Seaboy; Doug Nopar organizes an Action Theater activity.
3. Dakota youths participate in the WSU “Boys to Men,” an on-campus residential program introducing college life to high school students.
4. Annual meeting, October 25, date changed from January 2011. Chief Frank Brown presents a discussion of Dakota history in Canada.

¡ 2011
1. 8th Annual Gathering, shortened to a one day event (“Winona-Dakota Connection”), features the Dakota Music Tour written and presented by Brent Michael Davids and performed by the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and Maza Kute drum group. Other activities include community talk circle,
moccasin tournament, Dakota education exhibits and demonstrations, Dakota bingo, and vendors of authentic American Indian arts and crafts. A round robin hockey tournament between Canadian and Winona senior hockey players is staged for the first time.
2. WDUA Board members attend Dakota Chiefs conference, Canada and United States, at the International Peace Garden, Dunsieth, North Dakota and present a discussion of the Winona-Dakota Unity Alliance, our efforts for reconciliation, and the progress on the Covenant.
3. Annual meeting, October 26. Charles Trimble presents a discussion of the importance of place and the positive aspects of growing up on Pine Ridge reservation.

¡ 2012
1. WDUA facilitates the premier showing of “The Dakota 38” at the Frozen River Film Festival.
2. Receives funding for the 2012 Gathering from the Minnesota State Arts Board allowing a three day event.
3. Changes the date of the Gathering from June to September to encourage more participation by Winona’s public and private schools, Winona State University, St. Mary’s University and Minnesota State College-SE Technical.
4. 9th Annual Gathering, September 14-16, theme of “Commemorating the Dakota Conflict of 1862.” Activities include Akicita honoring ceremony, community talk circle, four grand entries, sunrise ceremonies, Dakota education exhibits, moccasin tournament, Dakota bingo, genealogy tent, Dakota 38 honoring ceremony, and community spiritual service (Wiping the Tears ceremony).
5. Initiates Winona Youth Education Day on Friday, 9-14-12. The WDUA education committee presents education in-service to all Winona third grade teachers in May, 2012, to introduce them to the education day schedule and curriculum. Education Day provides seven tipi-centered learning stations, each with four educators. Over 350 third grade students visit the site and participate in the learning stations.
6. The second Winona-Dakota hockey tournament is held and contests ownership of the newly established “Winona-Dakota Cup” traveling trophy. Five teams participated, including the Winona Old-Timers, with the Cup going to Dakota Tipi First Nation from Manitoba.
7. The first non-Dakota team, the Winona Wasicu Moccasin Team, led by Winona-Dakota Adviory Council Member Leo Smith, played in the Winona-Dakota North American Moccasin Tournament and made it to the second round.
8. Annual meeting, October 29, presents a showing of the documentary film, “The Dakota 38.”

¡ 2013
1. Winona Mayor Mark Peterson and Roger Trudell signing the Covenant of Friendship.