Powerful New Photo Exhibit Spotlights Native American Resilience and Strength

For Immediate Release

Release dated: October 10, 2023

MNHS media contacts: Allison Ortiz, 651-259-3051, allison.ortiz@mnhs.org or Jack Bernstein, 651-259-3058, jack.bernstein@mnhs.org

Reframing Our Stories exhibit opens October 21 at the Minnesota History Center

ST. PAUL, Minn (Oct. 10, 2023) – Stories by Native people, instead of about them. Using a visually stunning photo gallery as their canvas, the Native American Initiatives (NAI) department, along with Indigenous community members, reexamine and reframe photographs taken by Twin Cities journalists from the 1950s-90s in a brand new exhibit at the Minnesota History Center

The Reframing Our Stories exhibit, opening to the public on October 21 as a powerful addition to Our Home: Native Minnesota, transforms the narratives of photos from a box simply labeled “Indians.” Striking photos line the gallery walls, with new text showcasing strength and resilience of Native communities – both past and present – in their own words. 

“Community involvement is the most important aspect of this exhibit,” said Amber Annis, director of Native American Initiatives at the Minnesota Historical Society. “Throughout the development, our team sought out the input and opinions of several Native community members from across Minnesota. Our goal is to create a space where Native Community members feel represented, as well as an opportunity for visitors to connect with our communities and develop cultural empathy.”

Many of the featured photographs have not been seen since their initial publication and focus on Native community members, organizations, activities, and events, with particular attention to topics still extremely relevant in the lives of community members today. The exhibit aims to connect the past to the present by highlighting the memories of Native community elders, friends, descendants, and their organizing successors.

The themes of this exhibit include:

  • Our Self-Determination
  • Our Wellness
  • Our Teachings
  • Our Resiliency
  • Our Twin Cities

To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, the NAI department will be hosting a celebration event at the Minnesota History Center featuring community speakers, music, and a reception. The event will run from 11:00am–2:00pm on October 21. The opening celebration is free to MNHS members and Native Community members.

If you’re interested in scheduling an interview, please email jack.bernstein@mnhs.org. Additional exhibit information and updates can be found here

Funding provided by the State of Minnesota's Legacy Amendment, through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

About the Native American Initiatives team

The NAI team is an advocate for Native communities and Native nations at the Minnesota Historical Society, serving as a bridge between community needs and MNHS resources, engaging with Native communities and nations throughout the state, and ensuring Native voices, stories, and concerns are addressed in MNHS work. The NAI team conducts research, provides content, and creates programming and engagement opportunities across the state.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves, and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs, and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories, and connects people with history.