They ride to remember.

Traveling by horseback 330 miles from Crow Creek, S.D., to Mankato, through harsh December weather, Dakota tribal members completed this year’s Dakota Wokiksuye memorial ride on Thursday morning.

As in years past, they shared sacred sage smoke, prayers and dances to commemorate the 151st anniversary of the largest mass execution in the nation’s history. On the day after Christmas 1862, on orders signed by President Lincoln, 38 Dakota fighters were hanged in Mankato following the bloody, six-week U.S.-Dakota War.

The spot where the gallows once stood is now known as Reconciliation Park.

To learn more about that tragedy and see a photo gallery of the riders, visit


Curt Brown