Chief Arvol Lookinghorse, 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, led a pipe ceremony on Pilot Knob on October 3, 2009. Chief Lookinghorse has spent his life working for religious freedom, protection of sacred sites, and cultural survival. He was aided by Sheldon Wolfchild from Lower Sioux, Chris Leith from Prairie Island, Melvin Grey Owl from Crow Creek, and Melvin Lee from Santee, who all spoke about the importance of preserving Dakota sacred sites. Chief Looking Horse stated that sacred sites are the “power points, the grid,” for Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota peoples. After the ceremony there was a feast/lunch and wopida (a “thank you” giveaway) in which the speakers and visitors were honored. It was a cloudy day, but at various times the sun shone brightly on those gathered and two eagles flew overhead.
Known to Dakota people as Oȟéyawahe, "the hill much visited," Pilot Knob is a place of distinctive historical, cultural, and environmental importance, a sacred site, a landmark of Minnesota's beginnings. Pilot Knob is located on the east end of the Mendota Bridge, south of Highway 55 in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. A portion of the hill is included in Acacia Park Cemetery.
The Pilot Knob Preservation Association advocates for this distinctive hill, documents its long history, raises public awareness of its importance, and helps to preserve it for present and futuregenerations. Contributions are welcome. PKPA is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information write to:
The Pilot Knob Preservation Association
P.O. Box 50823
Mendota, MN 55150-0823
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How to get to Oȟéyawahe/ Pilot Knob
Oȟéyawahe/Pilot Knob is located at 2100 Pilot Knob Road, Mendota Heights.
From I-494, take the Pilot Knob Road exit, then drive north until the road ends.
From State Highway 13, take the Acacia Blvd. exit west to Pilot Knob Road. Turn right. Park along the street.
Oȟéyawahe/Pilot Knob can be visited every day during daylight hours.
There are interpretive signs and trails; there are no other facilities.
The new pocket guide
The new version of the Oȟéyawahe/ Pilot Knob pocket guide is available in pdf form. Click on the above image to open it in your browser or download it,