EXHIBIT OPENING AT CARLTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Carlton County Historical Society is pleased to host an Exhibit Opening on Saturday, November 10 at 1 p.m. for the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit “Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations”.
Join the CCHS to celebrate the opening of this exhibit and meet Tom Ross from the Upper Sioux Community, who worked on this exhibit with the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, and meet representatives from the Minnesota Humanities Center. Refreshments will be served after introductory comments.
This new traveling exhibit, which has been on a statewide tour to reservations and other venues under the auspices of the Minnesota Humanities Center and its partner, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, explores the Native nations in Minnesota and their history of treaty making with the United States.
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 exhibit includes 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.” The CCHS museum will show regional Native artifacts to complement this exhibit, which will be on view through December 15.
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.
"Treaties are agreements between self-governing, or sovereign, nations," says Kevin Leecy, chairman of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe and chairman of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. “Native Nations existed long before the formation of the United States. European powers recognized the sovereign status of Native Nations when they made treaties with us, as did the United States. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution recognizes Indian Tribes as distinct sovereign entities on par with foreign nations."
“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.”
"The history of Indian treaties is the history of all Minnesotans and all Americans," says Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. "Even now, states, Native nations, and the federal government continue to engage on a government-to-government basis every day, making in effect new treaties, building upon those made many years ago. We cannot have a complete understanding of what it means to be Americans without knowing about these relationships, whether we are Native Americans or not."
“Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations” is a collaboration of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. The project is funded in part 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.
Regular admission to the museum is $1.00 with children under 12 and CCHS members admitted at no charge. The CCHS museum is handicapped accessible. For questions call the CCHS at 218-879-1938.