The Winona State University Inclusion and Diversity Office will host guest speakers Rick and Wyatt Thomas for the presentation “Dakota Cultural Sensitivity: Impact of the 1862 Minnesota Uprising” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, in Science Lab Center 120.

The Dakota exile of 1862, which stemmed from the impact of hangings, forced marches to Fort Snelling, imprisonment at Davenport, and the exile to Crow Creek, will be explored using philosophies oriented in yesterday’s and today’s society from the Dakota perspective.

Rick Thomas is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Santee Sioux Nation and a disabled veteran of the Vietnam War. In addition to serving on multiple councils and commissions over his lifetime, Thomas is also co-founder of the Red Road Approach, for which the Governor of South Dakota proclaimed Sept. 17, 2009 as Rick Thomas Day.

Wyatt Thomas, or “Standing Nation” in Dakota, is a member of the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska and is a Dakota. He is also division head for the Native American studies department at the Nebraska Indian Community College, a veteran, and has filled in on the Santee Sioux Nation’s Tribal Council.

The event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by WSU Rochester, WSU Winona, WSU College of Education, Southeast Technical College, and Anoka Ramsey Community College.

For more information, contact Alex Hines at 507-457-5595 or email

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Eric Hawkins

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