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2018 Arkansas New Play Festival – Crossing Mnisose

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Crossing Mnisose

by Mary Kathryn Nagle

Sacajawea’s face sits on the US dollar coin, but few know her full story as she guided the U.S. Corps of Discovery up the Mnisose (or what Europeans named the "Missouri River"). In 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted an easement to allow a pipeline to cross the very same river. Although 212 years separate these controversial crossings, both reveal the continued survival of Tribal Nations in the face of colonial conquest. Crossing Mnisose draws a line from Lewis and Clark's historic encampment at Fort Mandan to the present day, as descendants of the Dakota and Lakota Nations continue their fight to ensure that the Mnisose, and the lands that contain the burials of their ancestors, are preserved for future generations.