Column: Stanley Crooks sought to share Shakopee Tribe story

"When I talked with Stanley Crooks, the Shakopee Mdewakanton tribal chairman, a few weeks ago by phone, I was struck by how he wanted to tell his life story. He was ready to talk, as if he had things to say that he wanted on the record.

I had never met or interviewed him before, but Crooks was chairman of the Shakopee tribe for 20 years and was re-elected earlier this year to another four-year term. The tribe has an especially powerful historical connection to the Dakota War of 1862, which is why I asked for an interview.

I was surprised when he took my call; a few other Dakota tribal leaders didn't.

We had a wide-ranging talk about those tragic events of long ago and how they had shaped his own life and all of Dakota history. As I wrote in a story published Aug. 18, on the 150th anniversary of the day the conflict began, he said, "I've thought about it all my life. Here in my later years, it's more on my mind than ever," especially at this time of year, when in 1862 Dakota warriors attacked the Lower Sioux agency and killed white settlers."

Get the Story:
Jay Furst: Shakopee Mdewakanton leader had last words to share (The Rochester Post-Bulletin 8/28)

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