Action Opportunity: Renaming Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska; Upcoming Movie: Songs My Brother Taught Me

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board last year changed the signage on Lake Calhoun to add the lake’s original Dakota name: “Bde Maka Ska,” or White Earth Lake. A citizens group advising the Park Board on a new master plan for the area wants to take the next step and make the name change official.

The recommendation will be made to the Calhoun-Harriet Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) on Friday, March 24, at 8 p.m. at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board headquarters, 2117 W. River Road. Members of the CAC’s Equity Committee will speak in favor for 5 minutes, and members of the public will have 15 minutes to speak, according to Tracy Nordstrom, who serves on the CAC.

Even if you don’t speak, it’s a great opportunity to attend and show support for the name change.

Renaming a lake is a complicated process. It is not something that Park Board could do on its own. The Equity Committee’s recommendation will ask the Park Board to support the name change and lead the name charge process. According to a 2015 Star Tribune article, the process includes getting approval from Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. For more background, see a Sept. 24 Star Tribune opinion piece by Carly Bad Heart Bull, Kate Bean, and Nordstrom titled: Restoring lake’s original name would reclaim heritage and unify: “Calhoun” doesn’t fit. “Bde Maka Ska” does.

The name change is only one many recommendations that the CAC could move forward to the Park Board for consideration. Other recommendations could include additional ways to remember and interpret the Dakota history in this area prior to white settlement. The CAC is expected to forward its full set of recommendations to the Park Board later this spring.

Here is a link to the project page.

Movie Release: Songs My Brother Taught Me

The film Songs My Brother Taught Me is a coming of age story set on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Lakota reservation. It was officially released earlier this month. It will have four showings at the Walker Art Center on Friday-Sunday, March 11-13. Click on the link for times. Here is a link to the trailer. Here is the movie’s Facebook page.

KFAI radio (90.3 FM Minneapolis/106.7 St. Paul) will air a special segment of Indigeneity Now, Wednesday at 7 p.m., with host Roy Taylor interviewing filmmaker Chloe Zhoa. During the broadcast, they will give away free passes to screenings. Listen for how you can get one.

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