Six Weeks in the Sioux Tepees
A Narrative of Indian Captivity
The Dakota War (1862) was a searing event in Minnesota history as well as a signal event in the lives of Dakota people. Sarah F. Wakefield was caught up in this revolt. A young doctor's wife and the mother of two small children, Wakefield published her unusual account of the war and her captivity shortly after the hanging of thirty-eight Dakotas accused of participation in the "Sioux uprising". Among those hanged was Chaska (We-Chank-Wash-ta-don-pee), a Mdewakanton Dakota who had protected her and her children during the upheaval. In a distinctive and compelling voice, Wakefield blames the government for the war and then relates her and her family's ordeal, as well as Chaska's and his family's help and ultimate sacrifice. This is the first fully annotated modern edition of Six Weeks in the Sioux Tepees. June Namias's extensive introduction and notes describe the historical and ethnographic background of Dakota-white relations in Minnesota and place Wakefield's narrative in the context of other captivity narratives. Namias then explores Wakefield's unusual choices and moral stance in the midst of racial hatred, and their implications in today's world.
192 pp — ©1997