Minnesota tribe looks to block sale of US-Dakota War relic


1904 oil on canvas painting by Anton Gag (d. 1908) “Attack on New Ulm,” depicting a battle during the US-Dakota War of 1862

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (AP) – A Native American tribe in Minnesota is trying to block the sale of an important U.S.-Dakota War relic scheduled to soon go to auction.

The Lower Sioux Indian Community of Redwood County released a statement Tuesday saying they want to prevent the sale of a sacred catlinite pipe this weekend, the Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Skinner Auctioneers is slated to sell the pipe Saturday in Boston. The auction catalog said a Sioux chief named White Dog created the artifact, which has an estimated value of $15,000 to $20,000.

The chief gave the pipe to a U.S. soldier as a sign of peace while he was imprisoned. White Dog was one of 38 Sioux men hanged in Mankato in 1862.


Scan of original photo in Minnesota Historical Collection depicting a monument to 38 Sioux men who were hanged following the US-Dakota War of 1862; Mankato, Minnesota

The pipe’s owner hasn’t been identified, but it has belonged to the same family since the 1880s, according to the auction catalog.

Skinner Auctioneers didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 1862 U.S.-Dakota War lasted six weeks and left hundreds of Dakota people, settlers and federal soldiers dead. The Dakota people went to war for a number of grievances, including the slow delivery of payments and food supplies from the government.

The remaining Dakota were driven out of Minnesota after the war. Most ended up in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Canada.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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