Dakota elders discuss sculpture

Published 8:11 am Tuesday, June 27, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — Dakota elders have met privately in Sisseton, South Dakota to talk about what to do with wood from a dismantled sculpture at the Walter Art Center in Minneapolis that met with protests from Native Americans.

The art center removed the gallows-like sculpture called “Scaffold” because of opposition from those who said it brought back painful memories of the mass hanging of 38 Dakota men in 1862. Artist Sam Durant said the sculpture was intended to raise awareness about capital punishment and America’s violent past. But, protesters said it was insensitive and trivialized a dark chapter in Minnesota and Dakota history.

The wood remains in storage. Mediator Stephanie Hope Smith tells the Star Tribune the meeting Sunday did not set any time or process on how the wood should be handled.

Email newsletter signup