On September 2nd, members of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) of the Dakota Oyate reoccupied Coldwater Spring and the surrounding land in Minnesota. The Coldwater Spring site is an abandoned property of the United States Department of the Interior’s defunct Bureau of Mines. Dakota people consider the spring as essential to their spiritual lifeway and the surrounding land as a part of their homeland of B’Dote. Dakota people believe that they will be better stewards of the land than either the United States or the State of Minnesota has been. This is evidenced in the fact that the site is littered with dilapidated structures and the soil is polluted from the former Bureau of Mines.
The reclamation of this sacred site was launched with four days of ceremonies to celebrate the seasonal transition from summer to fall. While the Dakota did not ask for a permit for the four days, the property manager has provided one. Despite the permit and the ceremonies that are happening on site, there continues to be heavy surveillance by Homeland Security, Hennepin County Sheriffs, and riot-police from various police agencies.