Students at Ramsey School Middle School in Southwest Minneapolis are asking the Minneapolis School Board to change the school name to Justice Page Middle School to honor Minnesota Vikings football great and retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page.
The School Board meets tonight to vote on the measure.
Students didn’t feel it was right to continue to honor Ramsey. Ramsey was one of the architects of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux (1851) which forced the Dakota to give up their land, then cheated them out of their promised money to the benefit of fur traders. The U.S. government’s failure to live up the terms of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux led to Dakota starvation and sparked the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862. Following the war, Ramsey pushed to exile all Dakota people from the state and offered bounties for Dakota scalps.
Students have a website called: RENAME Alexander Ramsey Middle School Information Site. It includes a statement of support from Gov. Mark Dayton:
“I support the students, staff, and community at Alexander Ramsey Middle School, who are leading an important discussion on the name of their school. Governor Ramsey’s encouragement of violence against innocent people is appalling, and I repudiate it fully. That violent language and behavior may have been commonplace 150 years ago in Minnesota, but it is not acceptable or allowable today.