On Wednesday, May 23rd, I was invited to speak at the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community, in tiny, little Mendota, MN. It was a warm, muggy evening, but those in attendance grabbed a cold bottle of water and settled in. After my presentation we shared a few refreshments and mingled. I was surprised to find out that a couple of the people knew Paul and his family. In fact, Bill White, who takes Dakota language classes at the center, knows Linda Thompson quite well. Linda is Paul's cousin from Lower Brule. I stayed with her "on the bend" a couple years ago when I was still doing research for "Hidden Heritage."
Tiffany Eggenberg, the gal who invited me to their meeting, introduced me to several Mendota community members. The Mendota Mdewakanton are one of the few tribes not recognized by the federal government. Even so, they are working hard to honor of their heritage. They have a brand new sweatlodge in the backyard, and are planting several varities of prairie grasses. After listening to some of their family histories, it was apparent they too have some stories worth sharing.
It was a wonderful evening and I want to send a big "thank you" to Tiffany for inviting me! Next I'm going to try something new...a book table at the Eagan Panera, Thursday & Friday, June 14th & 15th, as part of Panera's "Author on the Rise" program.