Dakota leaders upset after treasure hunt medallion placed in sacred area

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  • Dakota leaders in Minnesota have expressed disappointment that a treasure hunt medallion was hidden in the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.
  • The Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt, hosted annually by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, led hunters to find the medallion at the sanctuary.
  • The sanctuary is viewed as a place of prayer and a final resting place.

Dakota leaders in Minnesota say they were disappointed that a treasure hunt medallion was hidden in a sanctuary they consider to be sacred grounds.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press hosts the annual Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt. 

This year, hunters found the medallion Saturday at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in St. Paul.

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Though it’s designated as a public park, a nonprofit has partnered with the city to have the area recognized as a sacred space.

St. Paul

The St. Paul skyline is seen from Interstate 94 West on May 21, 2015, in Minnesota. Dakota leaders say they were disappointed that a treasure hunt medallion was hidden in a sanctuary they consider to be sacred grounds in St. Paul. (Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Shelley Buck, former chair of the Prairie Island Tribal Council, who now serves as vice chair of the Wakan Tipi Awanyankapi board, said hiding the medallion at the sacred site “is pretty disappointing because for us it’s a place of prayer and a final resting place for our people.”

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The nature sanctuary will be off limits for future hunts, said Lori Swanson, a marketing consultant who directs the Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt.

“We respect history, culture and everybody who cares about it, and we take concerns about the Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt seriously,” she said.



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