Screenings set for Dakota film

The documentary "Dakota 38" will be shown Wednesday at May Clinic.

"Dakota 38," a documentary film about a journey to commemorate the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War, will be screened twice this week in Rochester.

The film will be shown Wednesday at Geffen Auditorium in Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building, and  Thursday at Rochester Civic Theatre.

Jim Miller, a Dakota spiritual leader featured in the film, will answer questions from the audience following both screenings.

The film had its genesis when Miller woke up one morning in 2005 from a dream in which he was riding on horseback across South Dakota. At the end of the ride, Miller arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota to see 38 Dakota men hanged.

Miller has said that at the time he knew nothing about the Dec. 26, 1862, hanging of 38 Dakota alleged to have taken part in the U.S.-Dakota War. It was the largest mass execution in U.S. history.


The dream haunted Miller, who in the winter of 2008 led a contingent of Dakota on horseback as they rode from the Lower Brule Reservation in South Dakota to Mankato, where the execution took place. "Dakota 38" chronicles their 330-mile journey, through blizzard conditions along routes no longer made for travel on horseback.

Miller saw the trip as a journey of forgiveness. "What this ride is about is healing," he said.

"Dakota 38" was made by Silas Haggerty. After rough cuts were shown at Native American gatherings, churches, film workshops and community centers, the final version of the film had its world premiere last winter at the Frozen River Film Festival in Winona.

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