GAC hosts roundtable on 1862 events

ST. PETER – A public roundtable discussion conceived as a continuation of a dialogue resulting from various lectures, programs and public discussions that were part of a January Term class at Gustavus Adolphus College (GAC) will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 20 at Alumni Hall.

Moderated by Dakota historian, activist and retired Southwest State University Associate Professor of Indigenous and Dakota Studies Dr. Chris Mato Nunpa, the discussion was created for a greater understanding of events of 1862, how they are now perceived, and to foster reconciliation.

Discussion will be preceded by a performance of Lac Qui Parle, a Dakota hymn and an introductory discussion of the hymn by Rev. Sidney Byrd of Flandreau, S.D.

The January Term class was taught by GAC English Professor Dr. Elizabeth Baer and Ben Leonard, Nicollet County Historical Society Director.

Meanwhile, the Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus features art by Dakota and other American Indian artists presented in commemoration of the mass execution of 38 Dakota on Dec. 26, 1862 – the largest mass execution in American history.

All events are free to the public. Regular museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 5 p.m. weekends. For more information visit

On Sunday, Jan. 27, Kevin Grover, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian will give a guest lecture at 3:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall entitled “The Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 and Contemporary Native Memory.”

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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