If This Land Could Talk: Reevaluating historical representations of Dakhóta Oyáte in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota

Molly Lou Pintok, St. Cloud State University

Abstract

This research seeks to explore and better understand historical representations and interpretations of Dakota people through the examination of historic site markers in Kandiyohi County. Utilizing historic site analysis, computer-based mapping and spatial representations, as well as drawing on current work on textual analysis and spectrality in geography, this research aims to reconstruct present-day historical narratives in Kandiyohi County and situate them according to often unheard—and unmarked—Native perspectives. While doing so, this project also explores broader historical narratives within the cultural landscape and pursues a contextualized and nuanced understanding of the County’s history by connecting events and cultural constructions that initially seem unrelated through the introduction of a concept called the ‘spectral narrative’.