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This Week in Aboriginal History: Momaday, a Kiowa, wins Pulitzer Prize for fiction

By Carl A. Ellis, Friday, May 11, 2018

May 4, 1863: As the Dakota War of 1862 carries over into 1863, the Santee Sioux in Minnesota are defeated in an uprising and their lands are seized. The surviving Indians, including those who opposed the uprising and helped the whites, are ordered to a reservation in Dakota Territory. The 770 Santee are forced aboard a steamboat for relocation to the Crow Creek Reservation, which was in the throes of a drought. During the first year, 300 Santee die.

May 5, 1969: N. Scott Momaday, a Kiowa, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, “House Made of Dawn.” He’ll go on to receive the National Medal of Arts in 2007 for preserving indigenous oral and art tradition. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

May 6, 1822: All nonprofit government trading houses are closed on or near Indian lands and all future trading posts will be considered commercial enterprises.

May 7, 1999: The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage holds a grand opening for Alaska natives with a public grand opening the following day. The center is a gathering place that celebrates, perpetuates and shares the traditions of 11 distinct Alaskan native cultures.

May 8, 1725: Pigwacket Indians defeat a British contingent under Capt. John Lovewell at Fryeburg, Maine. It is one of the last battles of Dummer’s War, also known as Father Rale’s War.

May 9, 1735: The first debate on “The Walking Purchase” takes place at Pennsbury, the estate of William Penn.

May 10, 1832: Settlers start construction of Fort Blue Mounds near Madison, Wis. The fort is built to protect settlers from attacks by the Winnebago tribe.

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