|Written by Valerie Decorah Guimaraes,
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Replay to Indian Heights Story
I would like to offer some clarification for completeness sake regarding Indian Heights Park. A few of us worked very hard and are still working hard to have Indian Heights Park recognized as a Dakota Burial site: Shirley Greising, Betty Smith and Valerie DeCora Guimaraes.
The Dakota perspective was missing in your article (Indian Heights Park Recognized As Dakota Burial Site, The?Circle, Feb. 2012) just as it was in the initial Rochester Park Board Steering Committee process, and it appears that it is still in jeopardy given the comments made by Mitch Moore and Jim Wilson.
First, we the Dakota Community of Rochester had the strong support of Mr. Leonard Wabasha, Mr. Dave Larson and Ms. Whitney White. These individuals were and are kept abreast of all developments of the process and encouraged us to share the Dakota perspective with the Park Board of The City of Rochester.
Second, Jim Wilson (Osage) misspoke regarding plans for Indian Heights Park. The Rochester Park Department will oversee and approve of all plans regarding Indian Heights Park and those plans will not occur until all interested parties, namely the DAKOTA peoples, have had a chance to state their proposed ideas for Indian Heights Park. I have been reassured of this by Mr. Mike Nigbur, Park & Forestry Division Head who will host a planning meeting regarding Indian Heights Park at the end of March 2012. The Dakota Community, and Mr. Dave Larson will be invited to this meeting to set forth our proposals regarding the Dakota recognition aspect of the park.
Lastly, the Dakota Community of Rochester has already secured some funding for the Dakota recognition of the park. It is our goal to ensure that proper and long over due recognition of the Dakota presence that was once in the Rochester area be done properly and respectfully by those who are knowledgeable about Dakota ways.
Thanks for providing us with a venue in which we can share the facts regarding Indian Heights Park.
Valerie Decorah Guimaraes
Grand-daughter of the late Henry and Marie (Crow) Decorah