Learning from Place: Bdote
The Dakota language is
written on the landscape
of the Twin Cities
About the Workshop
Learning from Place: Bdote is an immersive experience that brings participants to sites of great significance to Dakota people in the Twin Cities. Participants will learn from Dakota community members through stories and histories that have often been left out of our state’s history. This experience is open to the general public and is particularly beneficial for educators who want to include new perspectives in their history curriculum.
Participants provide their own transportation, lunch, snacks, and beverages.
K-12 educators will receive 5 clock hours.
Indigenous people of this place have the longest relationship to the land. Because of the nature of this program and experience, the fee is waived for indigenous participants. Contact Eden Bart at firstname.lastname@example.org before registering.
Bdote – Bdote is a Dakota word that generally means “where two waters come together.” The bdote where Ȟaȟáwakpa (Mississippi River) and the Mnísota Wakpá (Minnesota River) come together is central to Dakota spirituality and history.
Fort Snelling State Park and Pike Island – The site of the Bdote. Also the site of the concentration camp for 1,600 Dakota women, children, and elders in 1862-1863.
Indian Mounds Regional Park – Dakota grave site that is thousands of years old. The mounds are representations of both the returning to the womb and the circle of life.
Participants are expected to attend the entirety of the workshop.
Participants will provide their own transportation.
Participants will bring their own lunch, snacks, and beverages. There will be a break for “lunch on your own.”
Learning from Place: Bdote will happen rain or shine – participants should dress appropriately for the weather.
Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to walk on unpaved trails.
Due to the nature of this workshop, the length of the day, and the serious content matter, this workshop is not intended for young children.
Workshop participants will leave with:
A deeper understanding about Dakota people’s relationship to Minnesota.
A better understanding of the negative impact exclusion from the state’s history and narrative have on Dakota individuals and communities.
Increased awareness of their own conscious and unconscious biases.
Tools and resources to better engage their students and community in a fuller history of Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
5 clock hours for K-12 educators.
Ramona Kitto Stately
Ramona Kitto Stately is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Nation. Her educational background includes a BA in Dakota Art and Culture, and a MAE-Teacher Leadership. She worked in Indian Education for the Osseo Area School District 2005-2020 and has been the Chairperson of the Minnesota Indian Education Association since 2018. Currently she serves as the Project Director of We Are Still Here MN.
Ethan Neerdaels, Bdewakantunwan Dakota, is a graduate of the University of Minnesota – American Indian Studies/Dakota Language programs. He currently teaches the Dakota language at Augsburg University, and co-directs the Indian Education program at Osseo Area Schools. He also serves as the Executive Director of Dakhóta Iápi Okhódakičhiye, a 501c3 dedicated to reversing the trend of language loss and raising future generations of Dakota speakers.
What should I bring?
Lunch, snacks, and beverages. Depending on the season and weather, bring an umbrella or rain jacket, bug spray and sunscreen. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Consider bringing a portable camping chair if you are not comfortable standing for a period of time. Some people like to bring a notebook.
What kinds of precautions are you taking for COVID-19?
We will continue to monitor and follow the Governor’s COVID-19 Response and Preparation decisions and recommendations. We will support safe social distancing by using a professional tour guide sound system, which will allow participants to stand and walk at least six feet from each other.
How rigorous is the hiking?
The day includes a minimal amount of gentle hiking, primarily on flat terrain. Not all paths are paved or even. Individuals with limited mobility may have difficulty. Contact us if you have questions.
Will you cancel a trip if it is raining?
The trip takes place rain or shine so come prepared for the weather. In the case of severe weather, we will make decisions as needed.
What kind of access is there to restrooms?
There are portable bathrooms at both sites. There are also indoor restrooms but depending on COVID-19 restrictions, they may be closed.
Can I bring my child/children?
This experience is primarily intended for adults, however some middle school and high school students have participated with a parent or guardian. The day does require a fair amount of standing, walking, and listening. We do not recommend this trip for children under twelve. We do not offer a youth discount.
Do you offer trips for student groups?
MHC does not have the capacity to offer field trips for student groups. If you are interested in booking a private trip, contact Eden Bart (info below). We offer a workshop in September for educators who have been on a Bdote trip and want to take students on their own trip. Learn more about Teaching Bdote.
Can I bring my dog?
Sorry, but no pets allowed.
Do you offer discounts for groups?
Do you offer private trips for groups?
We do have capacity for several private trips per year. The format is the same as for the public trips. The cost is $5000 and includes up to 45 people. For more info, contact Eden Bart at email@example.com.