Our Home: Native Minnesota Exhibit Experience

For immediate release

Release dated: 
September 17, 2019
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org or Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org

Our Home: Native Minnesota Exhibit Experience

“Our Home: Native Minnesota” opens Dec. 7, 2019, at the Minnesota History Center. This 2,700-square-foot exhibit features multimedia pieces, hands-on interactives and rare artifacts. 

The exhibit is organized around six sections: Dakota homeland, Ojibwe homeland, relationships and identities, enduring connections, resiliency and agency, and service to community.

Highlights include:

  • A star quilt designed in 2014 by Gwen Westerman (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) welcomes visitors
  • Videos that introduce Dakota and Ojibwe history with oral histories and contemporary interviews with Dakota and Ojibwe community members
  • Dakota and Ojibwe place names projected on the floor throughout the exhibit and a touchscreen map where visitors can explore how place names are pronounced 
  • A multimedia presentation in the center of the exhibit provides a place to reflect on Native people’s enduring connections to the land
  • A 1912 photo of the annual celebration of the White Earth Reservation (Ojibwe) with Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (Dakota) in attendance. Visitors are invited to help identify family members in the photo
  • Handcrafted textiles including basketry, leather, bead and quillwork from the late 1700s through the early 1900s
  • An Ojibwe men’s moccasin game set and items that speak to women’s cultural practices, like a cradleboard and clothing made by Dakota women
  • A military uniform shirt from Sgt. Shirley Quentin Red Boy who used Dakota language to help the US send messages during World War II
  • Profiles of Native people today who are bringing back traditional foodways and lifeways through gardens, innovative restaurants and food trucks, and education-based nonprofits
  • Unpublished images from the Star Tribune of the Wokiksuye Ride in 2012, which honors the 38+2 Dakota men who were hanged following the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

Consultants to the exhibit include members of the MNHS Indian Advisory Committee and Native educators from St. Paul Indian Education, Minneapolis Indian Education, Bdote Learning Center and the University of Minnesota.