From the Aitkin Age: Remembering the Sandy Lake tragedy


By Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, July 27, 2015

The 1850 Sandy Lake tragedy will be remembered this year on July 29 at Big Sandy Lake and the public is invited.

It begins with a ceremony at 9 a.m. at the public access on the east end of Big Sandy Lake off County Road 14, also know as Lake Avenue.

Following the ceremony, many will canoe or kayak across the lake to the Sandy Lake Recreation Area, arriving at about 11:30 a.m. A feast will be waiting. Afterward, a “talking stick” will allow people to say a few words about the tragedy and memorial.

Sandy Lake tragedy

The Sandy Lake Tragedy was the culmination of a series of events centered at Sandy Lake in 1850 that resulted in the deaths of several hundred Lake Superior Chippewa.

Officials of the Zachary Taylor administration and the Minnesota Territory sought to relocate several bands of the Michigan and Wisconsin tribes to areas west of the Mississippi River. By changing the location for fall annuity payments, the officials intended the Chippewa to stay there for the winter and lower their resistance to relocation.

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