David Larsen

David Larsen

David LarsenDavid E. Larsen, “Hpu Hpu” (Dobbie) “Wahinkpe Ohitika” meaning Brave Arrow, age 75 from Ca?sayapi (Lower Sioux Community) made his journey to the spirit world Saturday September 2, 2017 at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale after a brief illness.  Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am Wednesday at St. Cornelia’s Episcopal Church Hall at the Lower Sioux Community.  Visitation begins at 4:00 pm Tuesday at the hall and will continue until the service.  Interment is in St. Cornelia’s Cemetery.  Online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com.  Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

David was born December 3, 1941 in Pipestone, MN to David J. & Emmarica (Wabasha) Larsen.  He served in the US Navy as a radar operator from 1960-1964.  David was a strong passionate man who loved & dedicated his life to his Dakota Community and to Indigenous people worldwide.  His passion took many forms.  He was an educator of Dakota History & Culture at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and Minnesota State University Mankato.  He also taught and mentored Indian Students at Redwood Valley High School and most recently at Columbia Heights Schools.  David was elected to the Lower Sioux Tribal Council and served three terms as Chairman.  He was instrumental in bringing the first real revenue to Indian Communities by initiating Indian gaming in the state of Minnesota.  His commitment was unending.  He served as spiritual advisor for Native men and women at MN Correctional Facilities, and at the MN Veterans Hospital in St. Cloud.  Dave was well known for his scholarship and continued efforts to share the true history of the Dakota people.  He was regularly called upon by schools, churches, historical societies, and universities to share his knowledge.  A traditional dancer, he will be remembered by his powwow family.  When he wasn’t dancing, his broadcast journalism voice could be heard emceeing at powwows across Minnesota.

The family he leaves to cherish his laughter, humility and great smile include wife Valerie; son Scott; daughters: Teri (Brian), Becky (Nate), & Barbie; stepson Greg (Karla); 24 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; brothers: Bob (LaVeda), & Curt (Cathie); sister Lana; and many other relatives and cherished friends.  He is preceded in death by many relatives and friends.

28 thoughts on “David Larsen”

  1. Prayers to all of you. He truly was a great warrior and brave man. He will be remembered by many for all his stories of the native ways and Indian heritage.

  2. I met Dave when I returned to my hometown of St. Peter from 1996 to 1999. I volunteered with the summer event held at the Treaty Site Museum where I was privileged to meet and become friends with Emmet Eastman and Garrett Wilson. I went to a talk Dave gave at Birch Coulee and I still can see and hear David ending his talk with “Just love us”. I found him outside later and said “I love you” and we hugged with no more words. I still do, and I treasure the knowledge shared by these honorable men and their acceptance of me. Prayers for your journey Dave. With respect.

  3. I was very saddened to hear of David’s passing. I first had the honor and pleasure of hearing David present his excellent and moving lecture on Native culture at my school, and then he very graciously agreed to present it again at my workplace for our Native American week. He was very articulate, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and I was impressed at his intelligence, humor, and kindness. What a great, great man. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

  4. My thoughts and prayers go out to my life long friend. I will always remember Dave for his kindness and compassion. May he rest in peace.

  5. One of the treasures in our community has walked on. We are thankful for his many contributions on so many levels to enhance our Native world………

  6. Condolences with prayers and love to Val and Dave’s family.
    Columbia Heights Schools was transformed by Dave serving the American Indian students and families. He was such a wonderful man and I considered him my mentor and friend.
    He will be Missed greatly,

  7. Gregory T. Wilkins

    My heart is heavy to hear of Dave’s passing. I worked with him at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Hearing his stories on social justice, his involvement with the greater Mankato community, his energy with the Mahkato Wacipi at the Land of Memories, and his involvement as a volunteer at the Mankato International Festival are a just a few hallmarks that fill my memory of Dave.

    Thank you, Dave, for a lifetime of memories. Your Mahkato moccasins will be hard to fill. May the Creator be with you and your family in the days, weeks, and months ahead. May the Four Great Powers of the Medicine Wheel draw us closer to the Earth, the Fire, the Water, and the Air. Peace be with you, your family, and many loved ones.

    As the Pueblo Indians are known to say:

    Hold on to what is good
    even if it is a handful of earth.

    Hold on to what you believe
    even when it is a tree
    that stands by itself.

    Hold on to what you must do
    even when it is a long way from here.

    Hold on to life
    even when it is easier letting go.

    Hold on to my hand
    even when I have gone away from you.

  8. Prayers of strength for the family. Dave was a very big part of our life in Mankato. He will be greatly missed. He was one of the people who was there when the wacipi got started. He and Val mentored us and lead the committee for many years. He helped start programs at Minnesota State University and the U of Minn. I remember talking with him on a number of occasions about how we can work together to make this a better place, how to forgive those who have hurt us, and how to carry on with our commitments to the end. I will forever cherish the time I spent with him.

  9. Catherine Grey Day

    Wakan Tanka blessed us with a wonderful, loving gentle soul. Haven’t seen him or Val for many moons. I’ve held good memories of Dave and Val. What a great loss. Condolences to all his cherished ones.

  10. David was such a kind soul, his laughter and teasing always brought smiles to our hearts. RIP dearest David. Sending Valerie and all who’ll miss you, warm healing hugs and positive thoughts.

  11. I remember Dave from the U of M so long ago. He was a good friend of my mother, Gladys. I also learned from him about what racism means which is prejudice or bias plus power. I never forgot that. He also ministered at many events over the years in the urban area. I always saw him with his beloved Val dancing or visiting at pow wows. He is a true warrior in these times as he espoused true values of Dakota people through honor, kindness and compassion for all Native and other people. We have been singing and praying in our own way to help him on his journey. He left very good footprints in our world. Mikanuk and I will miss him dearly. Our deepest sympathies to Val, his siblings and other blood and adopted family, which we are all a part of.

  12. Valerie and family, David was a wonderful friend, a kindred spirit as well as a committed partner in several adventures. We worked for years in building bridges of understanding between Native Americans/Latinos and European Americans in Minnesota, Mexico and Switzerland. We and dozens of international MRA peacemakers followed the Owen family’s spiritual guidance in the Wiping of the Tears Ceremony in MN expressing forgiveness to Europe and Europeans there and in Caux, Switzerkand. We met with Zapatista rebels in Chiapas, Mexico to offer support in gaining access to opportunities in Native trade across the American hemisphere. We talked with students in Mankato SU and elsewhere. He taught me the correct Native way to embrace so that heart touches heart. We enjoyed pow wows, sweat lodge, meals, laughter and conversations I will always treasure. Will miss you dearest brother and look forward to seeing you with the great Spirit.

  13. Sheryl and Bruce Dowlin

    Dave was a long time participant and supporter of the Mahkato Wacipi, of which his father was a charter member. His willingness to teach groups of all ages including the Mankato area 3rd graders at Education Day were greatly appreciated. His presence will be missed. Dave proudly spoke out for the Dakota people, and many people were touched by presentations. Our sincere condolences to the family. Bruce and Sheryl Dowlin

  14. So very sorry for this great loss. Dave was always there when I needed help confronting the corporations and the government, speaking truth for the Sacred Mother Earth. Deepest condolences for the family.

  15. Ken and Betty Meister

    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. I remember working with Dave at the Redwood Valley School. What I learned from him was worth more than money can buy. Dave was very dedicated to educating and sharing his history and his culture. Thank you David for your friendship. May God bless You.

  16. Marguerite DeSpain

    My prayers and thoughts are with you, Valerie and all of those who love Dave. He always had kind and encouraging words for me and others……and an uncompromising strength and courage to speak out. He will live on as an inspiration. I am sorry you lost your good companion, Valerie, and I am glad you got to enjoy each other for many years together…It has always been easy to see how happy you made him. He made many great contributions to many communities and individuals…and he will not be forgotten. with love, Marguerite DeSpain

  17. Bob and LaVeda, Curt and Cathy, and Lana
    My sincere condolences. I somehow missed hearing about Dave’s death. It is a difficult time when a sibling passes into the next world. We have shared all our lives with them and miss them. You have strong faith and family ties that will help you through this loss.

  18. My deepest condolences to Daves family! I met Dave for the first time 2002 at Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, we were team teaching a course Indigenous Peoples Globally together with Karen Larson and Roland Thorstensson. Dave made such an impression on me, we became good friends. We met several times after that. Sápmi – Sámiland in northernmost Europe are in tears, we mourning for our lost brother. As we use to say in Sápmi, you’re alive as long as you’re remembered, and best way to remember a person is to sing his songs. Ráfis vuio??a viellja, Rest in Peace!
    Krister Stoor, Indigenous brother, Sápmi – Sámiland

    1. vuoi??a should be vuoigna, our fonts don’t seem to work on this platform. Vuoigna means to rest. Viellja is brother; and ráfis is in peace.

  19. Remembering the great spirit who I met in 2011 in Minnesota when I was teaching Sámi culture at Gustavus Adolphus College. We shared a powerful memory of a place by the Minnesota river that I will carry with me the rest of my life. There was that peaceful place by the river where the frosty leaves created music in the air and one could still sense the sweetness of the passed summer in the air. You said that was the place where you would return when it was time. Let your journey in that world begin. Hanna Outakoski, Indigenous sister from Sápmi

  20. I am so sorry to hear about David’s passing. Since we moved to Pennsylvania we don’t hear so much from the Dakota communities. It hurts to find out so late. I have nothing but good memories. David was always supportive to me as a storyteller in our public television work together. He was an advisor on The Dakota Conflict – and an on camera storyteller for Dakota Exile and Seth Eastman: Painting the Dakota. He appeared with me at screenings and didn’t hold back when he disagreed with how Dakota history was told. Our best to Val and his entire family. Lighting a candle tonight for him.

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