Above, exterior of Giiwedinong, LWV Park Rapids members Beth Baker-Knuttila and CC White at sign, entry murals, Lake Itasca (start of the Mississippi). photos by Gretchen Sabel
This museum will bring indigenous culture and history to northern Minnesota. Winona LaDuke told Minnesota Public Radio news, "“This is not a tribal museum,” explains LaDuke, a member of the Mississippi Band of Ashinaabeg. “This is an Indigenous museum, but it is off the reservation. It received no state funding, it's entirely independent. We think of ourselves as the little museum that could.”
Click here to read an article on the museum's purpose and work from the Giiwedinong October 2023 newsletter. The museum is built to be an educational resource for Native and non-Native people alike, gearing up for field trips and other educational events. Here's a link to a story from The Circle about the Museum. Here, Winona LaDuke says, “Many people who want to learn about citizen engagement, regulatory processes, treaty rights, and the history of Minnesota will be pleased to come to Giiwedinong."
The museum features a gallery that will exhibit the work of Native artiists - the first exhibit is the work of Rabbett Before Horses Strickland, an Anishinaabe member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of northern Wisconsin. His works depict the Naniboujou and the origins of the Anishinaabe people. This gallery will host a rotating series of Native artists.
From the museum's website:
Giiwedinong will be a destination location for all interested in the history of this land, settler and native agreements, treaties, and the waters.
We will feature both historic exhibits and emerging artists for our youth, elders and communities. In 2022, Akiing.org, an Anishinaabe-led restoration and community development organization purchased the former Carnegie Library, turned Enbridge office to create a Museum of Culture and Treaty Rights in downtown Park Rapids, Minnesota. Giiwedinong is the first museum of its kind to share the treaties, stories and education of the Deep North, spanning from Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and beyond in Turtle Island.
We recognize, uplift, and promote both emerging and established Anishinaabe artists in their diverse storytelling mediums. We recognize that in order for art to be accessible, we need to bring it out into the community and provide space for art in our everyday lives and promote access internally (for our Anishinaabe people) and externally (as a tool for racial and social justice). We are interested in dialogue and education on these critical issues of the intersections of Indigenous peoples, environment, public policies and fossil fuel economies.
Giiwedinong is led by a team of Indigenous historians, artists and community members.
Above, LWV UMRR Communication Director Gretchen Sabel with Sarah Littleredfeather at Giiwedinon, MIssissippi Headwaters, celebration of Giiwedinong opening (photo credit #3 to Beth Baker-Knuttila)
|LWV Upper Mississippi River Region||