Counter Stories: Restoring Native American names to Minnesotan landmarks

Minneapolis Park and Recreation board started process to rename streets.
While the surrounding street names have been changed by Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, the debate over the name change of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska is before the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Matt Sepic | MPR

The debate over the name change of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska is now before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Justices will consider whether the Department of Natural Resources has the power to make that change. The lake was named for U.S. Vice President John Calhoun, who defended slavery.

Dakota public historian Kate Beane joined the Counter Stories team to discuss restoring Native American names to well known landmarks.

Beane has been one of the leading voices in the campaign to restore the Dakota name Bde Maka Ska. For Native Americans a name can give a sense of home and history, connecting people to the land and their ancestry. And it’s a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erased Indigenous people’s history and culture.

This episode’s co-hosts are:

Hlee Lee, owner of “the other media group”

Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University

Anthony Galloway, Art-Us

Marianne Combs, MPR correspondent

And guest Kate Beane, Flandreau Santee Dakota and Muskogee Creek and public historian

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.