Spirit car cover

Diane Wilson's Dakota Heritage

By slabs
  • Period: to

    Diane Wilson's Dakota Heritage

  • Rosalie Marpiya Mase and Louis LaCroix marry

    To "bring much trade to their tribe," Rosalie marries Louis LaCroix.
  • Dakota refused provisions

    Dakota refused provisions
    On the Lower Sioux Reservation, Thomas Galbraith refuses "to honor his promise to issue more provisions" that are in warehouse "even though the Indians were starving" (13). Little Crow responds, "We have waited a long time. The money is ours, but we cannot get it. We have no food, but here are these stores, filled with food...When men are hungry they help themselves." Andrew Myrick responds, "Let them eat grass."
  • Dakotas attack white settlers

    Four Dakota men kill five white settlers. Little Crow says, "Braves, you are little children -- you are fools. You will die...[I am] not a coward: [I] will die with you" (16).
  • War begins

    War begins
    War begins and Andrew Myrick is killed and found with his mouth stuffed with grass.
  • Renville Rangers return to Fort Ridgely

    Fred LaCroix, oldest son of Rosalie Marpiya Mase and Louis LaCroix, returns along with the other Renville Rangers to defend Ft. Ridgely. He, like other "mixed bloods," must now fight his own people.
  • Fort Ridgely attacked

    Fort Ridgely attacked
    Dakota attack Fort Ridgely and Fred defends the fort and his family without hesitation: "Assimilation had violated these kinship rules by forcing families to choose sides" (34).
  • Henry Sibley arrives at Fort Ridgely

    Henry Sibley arrives at Fort Ridgely
    Henry Sibley, appointed by Governor Ramsey, arrives at Ft. Ridgely with 1400 soldiers.
  • Little Crow pursued

    1600 soldiers leave to pursue Little Crow and to negotiate the release of about 300 captives.
  • Little Crow flees

    Sibley marches into Dakota camp, frees the prisoners, and the Dakota surrender. Little Crow flees north.
  • March to Fort Snelling begins

    March to Fort Snelling begins
    "Long, slow line of Dakota people begin to leave the nearby camp" bound for Fort Snelling (42). It takes a week to get to Ft. Snelling where the Dakota are "confined in an overcrowded camp of tipis on the north bank of the MN River, surrounded by a wood fence to protect them from marauding parties of white people."
  • Dakota executed

    Dakota executed
    38 Dakota prisoners are executed by orders from President Lincoln.
  • Treaties with Dakota broken

    Federal legislation is passed that breaks all previous treaties with the Dakota Indians.
  • Dakota forcibly removed from lands

    Federal legislation is passed to remove all Dakota from their lands. They are sent to the Dakotas.
  • Little Crow killed

    Little Crow is shot and killed while picking berries with his son.
  • Santee Reservation established

    The Santee Reservation in Nebraska is established for the Dakota to try to rebuild their lives. The land was suitable for grazing.
  • Sisseton Reservation established

    Sisseton Reservation established
    A treaty establishes the Sisseton Reservation near Big Stone Lake, where some Dakota become fairly successful at farming.
  • Oliver LaCroix goes to Santee Reservation

    Exact date is unknown but Oliver, Rosalie's youngest son, goes to live on the Santee Reservation and meets Jenny Felix.
  • Massacre at Wounded Knee

    Massacre at Wounded Knee
    Nearly 300 people are killed at Wounded Knee. Black Elk says, "The nation's hoop is broken and scattered" (54). Oliver and Jenny are married and live on a 160-acre settlement. They have a 2 year-old son.
  • Oliver LaCroix dies

    Oliver LaCroix dies after being ill, brought on by falling in the icy river.
  • Maude LaCroix and Paul Dion marry

    Maude, daughter of Oliver and Jenny, marries Paul Dion, a mixed blood Indian from the Rosebud Reservation. These are Diane Wilson's grandparents.
  • Lucille Irene Dion is born

    Lucille, Diane Wilson's mother, is born in a small cabin on a farm near St. Helena, Nebraska, where Paul works. Paul and Maude's oldest daughter is at the St. Francis boarding school.
  • Darlene Rose Dion born

    The eighth daughter is born to Paul and Maude. Paul is working in the gold mines in Lead, South Dakota, but is injured and suffers from asthma.
  • Paul, Jr., also known as "Sonny" born

  • Agnes Dion killed

    The family has moved to Rapid City, South Dakota. Agnes Dion, sister of Lucille, is killed in a car accident. Paul Dion takes Lucille and Pauline to Holy Rosary Boarding School.
  • Paul and Maude Dion move to Mendota, MN

    Paul Dion sells an old laundry machine, buys a car, and dodges a blizzard as they move the family to Mendota, MN, where Jenny now lives. She has a premonition of their arrival: "It would be difficult, but that was life, wasn't it? You did what you had to do, and you made the best of it" (106).
  • Lucille's family is gone

    Lucille's family is gone
    The exact date is unknown, but a priest from Holy Rosary takes Lucille to visit her family in Rapid City, but when they arrive, they find the house deserted. Lucille returns to Holy Rosary, where she stays for three years without seeing her family.
  • Period: to

    Diane Wilson's Personal Journey

  • Diane's first road trip

    Diane's first road trip
    Exact date unknown, Diane Wilson goes on a road trip with her daughter to see Holy Rosary Mission School where her mother attended boarding school.
  • Diane gathers her mother and aunts

    Exact date unknown: Diane's mother and aunts discuss life at boarding schools. One says, "We wanted to be with our parents. They kept us when they could and used mission schools as a last resort" (111).
  • Diane visits Oliver Dion's home

    Exact date unknown: Diane visits the home of her great-grandfather, Oliver Dion and talks to Buck Mullen about her family history.
  • Diane meets her cousin, Agnes LaCroix Mousel

    Diane goes to Rapid City, South Dakota, to meet her cousin, the former Miss Indian American, 1949. She learns the lessons of the women in her family: "work hard, complain little, laugh as often as you can. Cry only when you bury a parent or a child. No matter what happens, make the best of it. And always, always, place the family first" (135). She also learns that "a good Dakota needed to be a good relative" (138).
  • Diane visits the Santee Reservation in Nebraska

    Diane visits the Santee Reservation in Nebraska
    Diane visits the site of her grandmother, Maude's, birth. She speaks with tribal enrollment officer, Willard Mackey, who takes her to see the LaCroix land, which has "a simple, plain beauty to it" (145). Diane can see her [grandmother, Maude,] running across the fileds, picking berries in the summertime" (147).
  • "Spirit Car"

    "Spirit Car"
    Diane begins to drive a "spirit car," her "entire backseat filled with relatives who wondered why [she] wasn't paying more attention to their part of the family story." She imagines "a big old Cadillac with fins, fancy hubcaps, leather seats, and power windows" (157).
  • Diane finds Oliver's grave

    Exact date unknown: Diane returns to the Santee Reservation with her brother and finds her great-grandfather's grave.
  • Diane shares stories with her mother

    Exact date unknown: While her mother is going through chemotherapy, Diane shares her writing and discusses her stories.
  • Diane's continued search for her family's history

    Exact date unknown: Diane continues her search for her family history and learns stories of her great-great grandparents, Rosalie and Louis, as well as Fred's service in the Renville Rangers.
  • Diane visits the sites of the Dakota War

    Exact date unknown: Diane visits sits associated with the Dakota War of 1862: "These are literally the wounds in Minnesota's history that still lie close to the surface" (177).
  • Diane feels Rosalie's presence

    Exact date unknown: Diane spends time at a friend's farmhouse to write Rosalie's story and believes that Rosalie has "come home" (181). She decides to take part in the Commemorative March.
  • Diane begins Commemorative March

    Diane and her brother participate in the Commemorative March to Fort Snelling and notes that "Indian people use family relationships like a compass, as a way of steering through complex connections and acknowledging family ties, no matter how distant" (185).
  • The Commemorative March ends

    The Commemorative March ends
    The March concludes at Fort Snelling and they feel the burden of sorrow that the women held as they approached this camp.
  • Diane shares stories with her mother

    Diane shares stories with her mother
    Exact date unknown: Diane shares her expereinces and her findings with her mother who says, " I guess you just have to accept who you are" (202).