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Why Treaties Matter exhibit

Monday, August 11, 2014

The "Why Treaties Matter" exhibit runs Aug. 25-Sept 12 in Atwood Memorial Center.

 Jaelissa Northrup learning to harvest wild rice at Perch Lake on the Fond du Lac Reservation, 2003.  

A nationally recognized and award-winning traveling exhibit is coming to St. Cloud State University this fall.

“Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations” is Aug. 25-Sept. 12 in the Cascade Room Lounge of Atwood Memorial Center. The university is the first stop “Why Treaties Matter” is making on the 2014-2015 tour of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) campuses.

The exhibit explores the relationships between Dakota and Ojibwe nations and the U.S. government through video and 20 banners featuring text and images. The exhibit shares information on how treaties affected the lands and life ways of the indigenous peoples and how these agreements among nations still matter. 

“St. Cloud State will model the type of interactive, hands-on learning that can take place for students, faculty, staff and community by hosting this exhibit on campus,” said Jeanne Lacourt, American Indian Studies professor. “All will benefit from seeing and participating in the activities associated with the exhibit.

An opening ceremony featuring the Young Eagles Drum Group from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and short presentations by St. Cloud State faculty, staff and students will kick off the exhibit’s run on Aug. 25, the first day of fall classes. Talks by representatives from Minnesota tribal communities, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and professors of St. Cloud State will also accompany the exhibit.

“St. Cloud State is pleased to host this important exhibit, which will further educate our students, staff and visitors about the histories and cultures of Dakota and Ojibwe nations,” said St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter, III. “This exhibit is another opportunity for St. Cloud State to inform students about the world around them and to help them become responsible global citizens.”

More than 46,000 people have engaged with the exhibit at more than 33 locations including three MnSCU campuses — Bemidji State University, North Hennepin Community College and Riverland Community College. The Federation of State Humanities Councils recognized the exhibit for outstanding work in the public humanities with the 2012 Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize.

The exhibit is a collaboration of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. This 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 Nov. 4, 2008 and The Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation.

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