As a Native American scholar of environmental history and religious studies, I am often asked what Native American leaders mean when they say that certain landscapes are “sacred places” or “sacred sites.”
The Omaha revere an ancient Sacred Pole, from before the time of their migration to the Missouri, made of cottonwood. It is called Umoⁿ’hoⁿ’ti (meaning “The Real Omaha”), and considered to be a person. It was kept in a Sacred Tent in the center of the village, which only men who were members of the Holy Society could enter.
A 200-acre wooded site west of Tisch Mills guards its secrets well. Maybe that’s what its original inhabitants intended.But for historian Bruce Vandervest and several other investigators, the site, confirmed to be a sacred Native American burial ground, continues to draw them back in their determination to find out more: a Viking ship also may be part of the find.
by Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer******** I am a 60 year old activist who is spearheading an international movement to revert the derogatory name of Minnesota’s “Rum River” back to its sacred Dakota Indian name Wakan, sometimes spelled Wahkon, and translated as (Great) Spirit. And I am also spearheading a movement to change 11 other MN geographic […]
By Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer
On a Mille Lacs Kathio State Park interpretive sign, Leonard E. Wabasha is quoted as saying: “My people are the Mdewakanton Oyate. Mdewakanton means the People of Spirit Lake. Today that lake is known as Mille Lacs. This landscape is sacred to the Mdewakanton Oyate because one Otokaheys Woyakapi (creation story) says we were
created here. It is especially pleasing for me to come here and walk these trails, because about 1718 the first Chief Wapahasa was born here, at the headwaters of the Spirit River. I am the eighth in this line of hereditary chiefs.” (reference 1.)
The old-growth forest in Arlecho Creek is special to the Lummi tribe. It is a place of spiritual worship and a place to interact with Mother Nature.
The clear morning sun filters through the branches of the forest and droplets of dew rest on the surrounding fauna. Birds chirp in unison — a wake-up call for the other wildlife in the forest. This area of Arlecho Creek, located near Mount Baker, is home to cedar, fir and hemlock trees that are centuries old and home to the endangered murrelet bird.
According to historical documents found in, “Minnesota Geographic Names”, a book written by Warren Upham, and published by the Minnesota Historical Society… in the late 1700s, white men gave the Rum River its current name by way of a “punning translation” that “perverted the ancient Sioux name Wakan”. In Minnesota, “the land of ten thousand […]