When Mennonite settlers arrived in South Dakota and other parts of the Midwest around 1874, the land offered to immigrants by railroad agents was available because the Indians had been displaced from it. The European search for religious and political freedom and economic opportunity denied those very freedoms to the people who had inhabited North America for generations.
The histories of Mennonite settlement in South Dakota mention few reflections about pioneers having occasional contacts with Indians as they broke prairie sod for farming. It is clear there was insufficient trust and a lack of communication. Not good signs for our future life together. Can we support and work for better results at Standing Rock?
Donald D. Kaufman
North Newton, Kan.