Help rename Fort Snelling; New ‘Native Lights’ podcast launches; Exhibit honoring George Morrison opens Sept. 20; MIWRC addresses pay inequity

In this blog:

  • Offer your thoughts for renaming Historic Fort Snelling
  • New “Native Lights” Podcast lifts up Native voices; release party Saturday at the Minnesota State Fair featuring Lt. Gov. Flanagan
  • Changing Horizons: An art exhibit honoring George Morrison’s 100th birthday opens Sept. 20
  • MIWRC address pay gap through title changes

Offer your thoughts for renaming Historic Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling 1844 (Photo from Wikipedia)

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is looking for your ideas to rename the Historic Fort Snelling site. According to an email:

MNHS is launching a statewide effort to gather public input on the name of Historic Fort Snelling, the 23-acre historic site operated by MNHS. Does the current name adequately reflect the stories of the many different people who have crossed paths there?

(Note: The name of the fort itself will remain Fort Snelling.)

Recall the political bruhaha earlier this year when the Historical Society changed the sign at the Fort to read “Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote?” Some conservative politicians were angered by the simple addition of “Bdote,” the Dakota word for confluence, and tried to cut the Historical Society’s budget. (See: White Fragility at the State Legislature: Full Blown Freak Out Over a Sign.)

The Historical Society is trying to open up the conversation this time. It will host several statewide public meetings to get input on the name. The public also can submit comments online here through Nov 15.

Fort Snelling will be undergoing a major overhaul.The visitor center will close to the public after Labor Day with demolition and construction scheduled to start in early 2020. Changes will include new interpretive programs, exhibits, and stories.

For more, see MPR’s story: Historical Society seeks public input to rename Historic Fort Snelling.

Native Lights Podcast Release Party at State Fair Saturday, featuring Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Minnesota Native News is launching a new podcast: Native Lights: Where Indigenous Voices Shine. It will amplify stories of people within Minnesota’s Native communities, exploring the history, work, strength, and resiliency of Native people who are shaping the future, while appreciating those who came before.

The kick-off event is Saturday, 1 p.m., at the Minnesota State Fair. Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan will be a featured guest in a special live broadcast celebrating the podcast’s release. Go to the Ampers booth in the Education Building. (Ampers is an acronym for the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations.)

Podcast hosts Leah Lemm and Cole Premo will perform original music and interview a number of special guests – including Flanagan – in this two-hour show. The program will be broadcast on Ampers radio stations, including KBFT, WTIP and KVSC.

“The first season of our Native Lights podcast is all about finding your purpose and sharing your gifts,” Lemm said in a news release. “We are excited to speak with Lt. Governor Flanagan, a citizen of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, about how she discovered her own purpose and gifts. I want to ask her how her path in life led to her serving the state of Minnesota in her current position.”

Other guests will include James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw, Ojibwe teacher and creator of Ojibwe Word of the Day, and Rhiana Yazzie, Navajo playwright, filmmaker, director, performer, and producer, who’s currently featured in the Twin Cities premiere of the groundbreaking play “The Rez Sisters” at the New Native Theater.

Changing Horizons: An art exhibit honoring George Morrison’s 100th birthday opens Sept. 20

Changing Horizons will commemorate the 100th birthday of George Morrison, celebrating his influence and exploring the artistic dilemma of identity politics. The exhibit will highlight selected works from Morrison’s estate, as well as juried works by artists using a range of visual mediums to push the conversation of what society deems as “Native Art”.

The exhibit will span two galleries, Two Rivers Gallery, 1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis (in the Minneapolis American Indian Center, and All My Relations Arts, 1414 E. Franklin Ave. It will be on view from September 20 to November 8, 2019.

There will two opening receptions, one at All My Relations Arts,, Thursday, Sept. 12, from 6-8 p.m. and one at Two Rivers Gallery, Friday, Sept. 20 from 6-8 p.m.  There also will be an Artist Talk at All My Relations Arts at a date to be announced.

MIWRC address pay gap through title changes

I always wondered why some nonprofit leaders carried the title of “executive director” versus “President and CEO.” Thanks to a recent announcement by the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, I know:

The Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center is proud to announce a change in the position titles of our executive leadership. Our Executive Director position will now be referred to as President and Chief Executive Officer. Our Director of Operations position will now be referred to as Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. This change was approved by our Board of Directors in response to research which shows that a compensation differential exists between Executive Director and President and CEO positions, even though the skills and responsibilities required for both positions are identical. Based on the reality that Executive Director positions are predominantly held by women whereas President and CEO positions are primarily held by men, MIWRC feels that this title delineation results from gender prejudices and ingrained patriarchy. Thus we are changing the terminology we use in order to resist these inequities. Patina Park, J.D. will now serve as the President and CEO of MIWRC. Heather Reynolds will serve as the VP and Chief Operations Officer of MIWRC. Congratulations and thanks to both for their ongoing leadership within the urban Indigenous community here in the Twin Cities!

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