Compiled by the NUMC Dismantling Racism Team
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We have visited Hocokata Ti, the Dakota museum in Shakopee and may plan another trip in the future.
"Hoċokata Ti’s 3,805-square-foot public exhibit, called Mdewakanton: Dwellers of the Spirit Lake, provides visitors with a cultural experience that enhances their knowledge and understanding of the Mdewakanton Dakota people and their history. Tours are offered to guests, where an assortment of Dakota Sioux artifacts can be viewed in the public gallery."
What comes to mind when you think of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) in Prior Lake? Probably Mystic Lake Casino, maybe the original Little Six Casino if you’ve been around for a while. But the SMSC has much, much more going on than just gaming. As the largest employer in Scott County, the SMSC owns and operates a diverse collection of enterprises, ranging from entertainment venues and retail stores to facilities that care for the earth through organic farming and organic recycling. A recent addition to the Community is Hoċokata Ti, the cultural center that opened in 2019.
The Dismantling Racism Team sponsored a field trip to this beautiful facility in June. A group of 12 people were led by a professional cultural interpreter through the museum exhibit, called “Mdewakanton: Dwellers of the Spirit Lake.” All of the attendees were impressed with the amount of material covered in the exhibit and the amount of new information they learned about the Dakota people and their history, including the recent history and current enterprises of the SMSC. We agreed that it was time well-spent and would recommend a visit to anyone. A couple members of the group have already shared their enthusiasm by incorporating a second trip to the cultural center into a family reunion!
More information about Hoċokata Ti (pronounced ‘ho-cho-ka-ta tee') can be found on their website: hocokatati.org. Current hours are Wed – Sat, 10am-4pm. The DRT is considering a second group tour later in the year. If you would be interested, please speak to a DRT member or Pastor Jerad.