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Sankofa Ojibwe & Dakota Trip

This spring, Bethel students, staff, and faculty will travel across Minnesota visiting sites of the Ojibwe and Dakota Nations. Apply online for Sankofa.


March 11-19, 2017 (spring break)


Students: $375
Staff and faculty: $425


Students travel to sites throughout Minnesota learning about the Ojibwe and Dakota Nations.

The Experience

Sankofa is a word from the Akan people of Ghana, West Africa, which is part of an expression meaning "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot." This means we must go back to our roots in order to move forward.

On the Sankofa trip students learn that whatever we have been stripped of, lost, or forgotten can be reclaimed, revived, and preserved for the future. Through meeting local leaders, talking with experts, and visiting historic sites, students discover the role of faith, sacrifice, and commitment that formed the spirit of the Ojibwe and Dakota Nations and how that applies to our community today.

Mille Lacs Indian Museum & Trading Post

The Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post includes a museum dedicated to telling the story of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and an adjacent restored 1930's trading post.

Fond Du Lac Reservation

The reservation lies in northeastern Minnesota adjacent to the city of Cloquet, approximately 20 miles west of Duluth. The Fond Du Lac Reservation, established by the LaPointe Treaty of 1854, is one of the six reservations inhabited by members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

Lower Sioux Indian Community/Mdewakanton Band of Dakota

The Lower Sioux Indian Community is a federally recognized Indian tribe located in south central Minnesota in Redwood County. While "Lower Sioux" was the name given to our band and our homeland after treaties with the United States in 1851, members of the Lower Sioux Indian Community are part of the Mdewakanton Band of Dakota.

Pipestone National Monument

For countless generations, American Indians have quarried the red pipestone found at this site. These grounds are sacred to many people because the pipestone quarried here is carved into pipes used for prayer. Many believe that the pope's smoke carried one's prayer to the Great Spirit. The traditions of quarrying and pipe making continue here today.


The U.S. Army executed 38 Dakota prisoners by hanging on December 26, 1862 in Mankato. It remains the largest mass execution in American history.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Coldwater Springs is at least 10,000 years old. It is a traditional gathering and ritual site for Upper Mississippi Indian Nations including: Dakota, Anishinabe, Ho Chunk, Iowa, Sauk and Fox. We will be visiting other sacred sites in the Twin Cities as well.

Who Should Participate

The Sankofa trip is designed for students who want to:

  • Learn about the vital contributions of Ojibwe and Dakota people.
  • Engage in active listening that increases their capacity for cognitive and emotional empathy.
  • Learn about historical and current dehumanizing systems of injustice.
  • Reflect on how they see themselves in relation to others.
  • Build capacity to acknowledge individual and collective wrongs and find ways to work towards healing.
  • Develop concrete ways that the trip content intersects with their daily lives.

The trip is also open to all Bethel staff and faculty.

Next Steps

Pray, learn, ask questions, and consider completing the application!

Applications will be available in the fall. After we receive your application, we will contact you in order to meet in person so that we can get to know you and your heart for this trip.

Apply early so you have plenty of time to begin preparing for this intense experience.

How to Apply

Apply online for Sankofa. Questions? Contact Paul Kong at paul-kong@bethel.edu.