Linda Clemmons, associate professor of history, recently published Conflicted Mission: Faith, Disputes, and Deception on the Dakota Frontier (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2014). It is the story of cultural collision between American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) missionaries and the Dakota Indians, whom they strove to convert to Christianity.
Between the mid-1830s and the 1860s, the missionaries who were stationed in Minnesota by the ABCFM wrote many letters to superiors and others touting the fact that they had converted many Dakotas to Christianity. Clemmons argues that these letters were filled with deception and obscure the reality of life on the frontier and conflict they experienced in all facets of their interaction with the Dakota.
Tamara St. John, Archivist, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, writes “In her clear and straightforward account of the missionaries to the Dakota people, Linda Clemmons hits on key concepts and issues that we as Dakota people often speak about, as well as things that our elders have told us for years.”