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Great Lakes to the Sacred Pipestone

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 16 day(s)
Group Size: 5 - 10 people
Destination(s): Montana   South Dakota   Wyoming  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   Native Americans  
Season: September
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1895 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1895 Pound Sterling (GBP)

Flying into Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport, you take the shuttle to your hotel where you meet the group to begin your journey the next morning. Your first week is guided by Paul DeMain, editor and publisher of Indian Country's longest running independent newspaper, News from Indian Country.

Travel first to Lac du Flambeau Chippewa Reservation, where after lunch Waaswaganing Village is our destination for our 'meet and greet', then presentations:"Sampling Indian Things, Local History and Culture" "Strawberry Island Sioux/Chippewa Battle Site/Hatchery. After an evening feast, enjoy a Spearing Exhibition Pontoon Tour on the lake.

Browse the Lac du Flambeau local museum before lunch at the lodge, then a Pipestone Quarry presentation, telling "Ojibwe Origin Stories" with wonderful evening activity at the Ojibwe Culture Village Lodge, where you are offered an in depth look at local culture.

At Madeline Island (home of the Ojibwe) a ferry ride to the Island where we lunch then tour the island, including the Old Village Site and Buffalo Gravesite, Old Cadotte Trading Post, and then a presentation of "Our Ancient Homelands". Returning to the mainland, our presentation over dinner is "Sampling Native Music and Laughter".

Fond du Lac Trading Post History from 1794 offers the opportunity to learn the history of European/Chippewa Furtrade in Region, after which we visit the old Roussain Cemetary site Tonight's presentation over dinner Fond du Lac Black Bear Lodge is "Ojibwe Warriors and their Hang-up with Maple Syrup".

At Mille Lacs Chippewa Reservation, we visit the Sandy Lake Memorial - site of the Chippewa Trail of Tears called the Sandy Lake Massacre. After time at Mille Lac Chippewa Museum, we enjoy an evening of powwow, cultural, history presentation with the engaging title "Little Otter Singers Composing Native Bethoven".

We visit Fort Snelling, after which our second guide of the journey takes over; we are joined by Serle Chapman, author of several successful titles, including Of Earth and Elders, Promise, Bozeman's Trail to Destiny and We, the People.

First call of the day is Acton – where 1862 Minnesota Uprising/Dakota Sioux Rebellion was ignited, then on to Fort Ridgley to take a view of the principal military outpost and operational center during the conflict.

We head to New Ulm, which although the site of two fights, more importantly became the settler’s stronghold during the conflict. Traveling on to the Birch Coulee battle site, we discuss the Dakota’s tactical victory.

The Woodlake Battle site was the most significant engagement of the 1862 conflict, and was undoubtedly the decisive clash. We will visit the historic site of the Upper Sioux Agency, and also take a look at the contemporary Agency as it stands and operates in modern times.

Lake Traverse was the crucial site of cross cultural and intertribal exchanges; British trappers and fur traders who had originally started with the Hudson Bay and Northwest Companies set up lasting relationships with the Isanti Dakota peoples, resulting in many intermarriages and lineages that continue to this day. IN the afternoon we pay a visit to the Sisseton Wahpeton.

Pipestone – one of the most important sacred sites in the Western Hemisphere. The story of this stone and the pipes made from it spans four centuries of Plains Indian life. We learn that the story parallels that of a culture in transition: the evolution of the pipes influenced their makers' association with white explorers, traders, soldiers, and settlers. Carvings today are appreciated as artworks as well as for ceremonial use.

Our final port on this extraordinary journey is Mankato and we discuss the tragic climax to the 1862 Dakota-US conflict, and where the People are today.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Departing from Minneapolis most tour members should remember they will cross the International dateline, and our dates inclusively reflect this.