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CLC to host exhibition focusing on native nations in Minnesota and the history of treaty making

“Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations” is a new traveling exhibition that will explore the Native nations in Minnesota and their history of treaty making with the United States. The exhibit will open on Nov. 23 at Central Lakes College, where is will be on view through Dec. 18.

This exhibition is part of a statewide tour, with visits throughout the MnSCU system, under the auspices of the Minnesota Humanities Center and its partner, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council.

In August 2010, a resolution creating a unique partnership of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. was approved unanimously by the tribes residing in Minnesota and made it possible for the exhibition to be developed as an educational tool for Minnesota audiences. The exhibition will include 20 free standing banners with evocative text, historical and contemporary photographs and maps, and a 10-minute video titled, “A Day in the Life of the Minnesota Tribal Nations.” This exhibit reveals how Dakota and Ojibwe treaties with the U.S. government affected the lands and lifeways of the Indigenous peoples of the place we now call Minnesota, and explains why these binding agreements between nations still matter today. It is meant to share important cultural information with all Minnesotans, that they may better understand the true circumstances surrounding Minnesota land, its use, and even the treatment of the land’s Indigenous peoples today.

“In order to create the vibrant Minnesota of the future we need to understand the importance of the agreements—the treaties—between the sovereign Indian nations and the United States,” says Minnesota Humanities Center President David O’Fallon. “Understanding these treaties is important now—it affects how we live—and will shape the future. The Minnesota Humanities Center is honored and excited to be a partner in this important program.”

To coincide with the exhibit, CLC is hosting several events that are free and open to the public:

  • Opening ceremony: A program starts at noon Nov. 23 outside the cafeteria, CLC Brainerd campus. It will include an elder invocation, a brief presentation by the honorable Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin will present, a drum ceremony and traditional fry bread will be served.
  • Pow-wow: Runs from 1-3:30 p.m. Nov. 24 in the gym, CLC Brainerd campus. Registration for dancers opens at 12 and closes at 12:45, to be ready for the 1 p.m. Grand Entry.
  • Men’s Moccasin Game Exhibition: Runs from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in the gym, CLC Brainerd campus. American Indian Elders from across Minnesota will be teaching the Moccasin Game and encouraging male students and employees to participate in this ‘traditional men’s game.
  • Indigenous Women’s Gathering of Voice, Song and Empowerment: Runs from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 1 in room E471, Brainerd campus. AnnaMarie Gutch, musician and former director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, along with CLC’s Meta 5 Program and Office of Diversity will host this ’empowering women’ program for female students, employees and the community.
  • Why Treaties Matter presentation by Tadd Johnson: At noon Dec. 7 in the Chalberg Theatre, Brainerd campus. Co-sponsored by the Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government.
  • Conversational Ojibwe mini lessons: The first lesson will be from 2-2:45 p.m. Dec. 8 in room C236, Brainerd campus. The second lesson will be from 4:30-5:15 p.m. Dec. 10 in room C237, Brainerd campus.


“Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations”

Why Treaties Matter is collaboration of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. This exhibition was developed with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008 and The Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation.

For more information and itinerary updates visit www.mnhum.org/treaties.

Minnesota Humanities Center Contact: Elizabeth Fei, Minnesota Humanities Center, 651-772-4244, elizabethf@mnhum.org

Minnesota Indian Affairs Council Contact: Annamarie Hill, Executive Director, 651-296-0041, annamarie.hill@state.mn.us


About the Minnesota Humanities Center

Founded in 1971, the Minnesota Humanities Center is a nonprofit organization. The Humanities Center is a resource of the state of Minnesota and affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Minnesota Humanities Center works to build a thoughtful, literate, and engaged society through education, partnership, and public programs.

About the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council

The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council was established in 1963 MN Statutes Chapter 888, Sec. 2 (3:922). The Council is a liaison between the State of Minnesota and the 11 tribal governments in the state. The Council provides a forum for and advises state government on issues of concern to urban Indian communities. The Council administers three programs designed to enhance economic opportunities and protect cultural resources for the state’s American Indian constituencies.

 About the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

Established in 1989, through an Act of Congress, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is an institution of living cultures dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The museum includes the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall; the George Gustav Heye Center, a permanent museum in lower Manhattan; and the Cultural Resources Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Md.

About Jessie Perrine

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