In September of 1863, Brigadier Gen. Alfred Sully ordered the massacre of between 100 and 300 Yanktonai, Santee and Lakota Sioux (including women and children) camped at Whitestone Hill in what is present day Dickey County, N.D.

Gen. Sully, knowing the Sioux were not inclined for a battle and were in the process of moving camp, used the opportunity for an ambush by “corralling” the Sioux with the 2nd Nebraska Cavalry and 6th Iowa Cavalry. After the “battle,” Sully ordered that the remaining tipis, winter provisions, and nearly a half million pounds of buffalo meat be burned.

I think many North Dakotans are conflating the idea of preservation of history with honoring terrible people. The name “Sullys Hill National Game Preserve” is a slap in the face of the Spirit Lake Nation.

We can do better. Change the name, it’ll be fine.

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