The Chippewa County Historical Society will host the 61st annual Lac qui Parle Mission Sunday this coming Sunday (July 14). The day will begin with a worship service at 10:30 a.m. led by Dr. Reverend Clifford Canku, and it will feature the Dakota Presbyterian choir and the hymn “Lac qui Parle”, which was composed by Joseph Renville.

This hymn has been in the Dakota Odowan since 1846, with the words based on Jeremiah 10:12-13. The hymn was translated into English by Philip Frazier, a third generation Dakota pastor in the Congregational church. It is perhaps the most widely known Christian Native American hymn in the United States, a legacy to all people from the Santee Dakota, who still sing it in their native language. The hymn will be sung in both English and Dakota during the worship service and is an experience not to be missed.

A potluck lunch will be held at 12 p.m. at the picnic area, near the dam. Coffee and water will be provided. Those planning to attend are being asked to bring a dish to pass, plates, napkins, eating and serving utensils and a folding chair for their convenience at the noon potluck. In addition, bug spray and sunscreen might be needed.

The afternoon program will begin approximately at 1 p.m. at the mission site. This year’s program will be presented by Louie Garcia. During his presentation, Garcia will share a variety of Dakota artifacts, from weapons to tools and clothing to drums. He will explain the purpose of each item and how it was used. He will also demonstrate how Pow-Wow songs are sung. There will be a question and answer session following the presentation.

This annual event is free and open to the public. Local residents and visitors are encouraged to join the missionary and Dakota descendants for the day.

The Lac qui Parle Mission is located six miles north of Montevideo on Highway 59, and 2.2 miles west on County Road 13. Turn right before the dam. The mission is on the right.

For more information on Mission Sunday or the Lac qui Parle Mission, contact the Chippewa County Historical Society at (320) 269-7636, or send an e-mail to

Visit the historical society’s Web site at

– Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain