Ms. Geshick reflects on the resilience and fortitude of the Dakota people.

Audio Chapters

DL: Could I ask you a philosophical question that’s fairly difficult? It occurs to me as you’re speaking, if you accept the Creator’s ways, then you look at what has happened to your people as, in some cases, very, almost insurmountable obstacles: the land was taken, which would change the culture dramatically. Things were introduced that changed the way people acted and behaved. You know what I mean, all these negative influences. Do you look at that and say, the Creator dropped this on me and so it’s for me to cope? I’m not sure I understand that role.

SG: He only gives you what he can handle; he’ll never give you any more.

DL: So the charge to the Dakota people was, I’ll give you this war, but no more. I take that back, the Dakota people chose the warfare piece of it, right? But the land theft and all of those things that came down on them.

AL: Resilience.

DL: Resilience.

SG: Resilience, yes. I don’t know what chief said that, but he said, and it will always stick with me, is that what was taken from us, will be given back to us. And I believe that. It might not happen in my generation, but I know that our people are gifted; we’re protected.

DL: And still here.

SG: We’re still here. They never got rid of us. It was their master plan, was to annihilate us. They tried in how many different ways- starvation, diseases, the 1862 conflict, taking our land, doing whatever they can, but we’re still here.

DL: Fortitude.

SG: Fortitude. Yes.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Sandee Geshick Interviewer Deborah Locke made at the Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, MN | Friday, June 10, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. Resilience April 26, 2019.

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.