At Tuesday's city council meeting, Redwood Falls became the third city in the state, after Minneapolis and St. Paul, to declare 2012-2103 the "Year of the Dakota: Remembering, Honoring, and Truth-Telling."
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Dakota-U.S. War, the council approved a resolution stating in part "the complete history of Minnesota must be taught from the perspective of all the people who have lived it."
Mayor Gary Revier said he supported the resolution "because of how closely our community is tied to the Dakota people. We have many Dakota in our community, and the Lower Sioux are our nearest neighbors."
The resolution calls for every effort to "be made to ensure that the Dakota perspective is presented during the year 2012-2013, through discussions at forums, events, symposia, conferences, and workshops...."
Dr. Chris Mato-Nunpa, Ph.D., a retired associate professor of Indigenous Nations and Dakota Studies at Southwest Minnesota State University, stated to the council," I didn't think any town in southwest Minnesota would even consider such a resolution."
Sandy Geshick, from the Lower Sioux Board of Elders, said she hoped every city in Minnesota would approve a similar resolution.
"The Dakota people still suffer from (the war)," she said. "We would like to ask if justice was done, and that it be mandatory that all schools cover the War of 1862."
A similar resolution passed in Minneapolis on Dec. 14, 2012, while one passed in St. Paul on Jan. 9, 2013.
In other city news, the council:
• Approved the hiring of Alexander Anderson as an unpaid intern with the police department.
Anderson, currently enrolled at Southwest Minnesota State University's law enforcement program, would earn college credits for the time he provides to the city of Redwood Falls.
Many of Anderson's duties would be in the office, but he would be allowed to go on ride-alongs with patrol officers at times.
• Approved a request from the police department to purchase six new tasers at a cost of $8,810.
• Approved a request by the police department to sponsor a driver safety training program at Redwood Valley High School.
The $1,800 program, conducted by UNITE International, would demonstrate to students how texting and alcohol hurt driving skills.
• Approved a new lease agreement with the Minnesota Inventors Congress at the Redwood Falls airport terminal.
The MIC will soon occupy a 12 x 20 foot space across the hall from its current space at the airport, at a cost of $250 per month.
• Declared the city's approximately 500 manual-read water meters to be surplus property.
• Approved a bi-annual trade in on the city's 544K pay loader and 4-in-1 bucket, paying $21,620 to the firm of RDO Equipment Co. of Marshall.
Page 2 of 2 - • Approved a request from city staff to advertise for and hire a financial analyst.
The city's current job description for that role has been modified to include duties and responsibilities for the finance and administrative services department, which includes the Redwood Area Hospital.
• Approved a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant agreement with the Minnesota Historical Society.
With talks underway to turn the Ramsey Park swayback bridge over to the city eventually, the historical society wanted the city's assurance it wouldn't make any radical changes in the bridge's design for at least the next 20 years.