MEDIA ALERT: Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site Management to be Transferred to Lower Sioux Indian Community

For immediate release

Release dated: 
March 11, 2009
Media contacts: 

Marjorie Nugent
Marketing and Communications

Pam Halverson
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Lower Sioux Indian Community

MEDIA ALERT: Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site Management to be Transferred to Lower Sioux Indian Community

The Minnesota Historical Society and the Lower Sioux Indian Community have announced a management agreement under which the two entities will work together to present the site’s history to the public. The Lower Sioux Indian Community will be responsible for day-to-day management of the site. The Society will retain ownership of and responsibility for the site’s capital needs and will provide technical assistance. The transfer will take effect April 1, 2009. Hours, fees and programs scheduled for the summer 2009 season remain unchanged at this time.

The Lower Sioux Agency is an important historic site with a crucial story that needs to be preserved and told. The U.S. government administrative center for the Dakota in the mid 19th century, it was the scene of the first attack in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. The goal of its interpretive program is “to accurately and sensitively portray the powerful and complicated history of the site as well as its historical context,” according to Heather Koop, head of the Society’s southern district historic sites. This management agreement represents an opportunity to expand the use of the site by operating the facility as a year-round cultural center, as well as a seasonal historic site open to the public as it is now. The arrangement also will allow the site’s interpretation to broaden, encompassing expanded aspects of the area’s history, including present-day Dakota culture.

The Society partners with a number of other institutions to bring history to life throughout the state. Other sites owned by the Society but managed by other entities include the Minnehaha Depot, Minneapolis; Folsom House, Taylors Falls; W.W. Mayo House, Le Sueur; Traverse des Sioux, St. Peter; Harkin Store, New Ulm; Fort Ridgely, Fairfax; Lac Qui Parle Mission, Montevideo; and the Comstock House, Moorhead.

The Society remains committed to telling the story of the Lower Sioux Agency and the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 at other of its historic sites, including Historic Fort Snelling, the Birch Coulee Battlefield in Morton, the Sibley House in Mendota and Fort Ridgely; through its web site,; in publications, including numerous books and Minnesota History quarterly magazine; its library and collections; and in exhibits at the Minnesota History.