Indigenous Peoples Day is Monday October 10, 2022.
In 2019, Governor Walz officially proclaimed the second Monday in October “Indigenous Peoples Day” in Minnesota. President Biden made a national Proclamation in 2021. Indigenous Peoples Day is an alternative to the national Christopher Columbus Day holiday based on the shared histories of native and non-native peoples in the United States. This year, Minnesotans are offered a few ways to observe the holiday –including festivals, ceremonies and tours — and several more permanent opportunities to learn more about the first people to inhabit this area. Here are ten ways to celebrate in the Twin Cities area this weekend through next weekend.
1. Honor Indigenous Culture at the Owámni Falling Water Festival
Father Hennepin Bluff Park, 420 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Water Works at Mill Ruins Park, 425 West River Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Saturday, October 8, 2022; 1pm-5pm
The Owámni: Falling Water Festival, a celebration of indigenous cultures of Minnesota. Traditionally held each summer, this year, the festival has been moved to the weekend leading up to Indigenous Peoples Day. Community members can participate in cultural activities, including music, art, food, and more. Drop-In. FREE.
2. Investigate Archeology at Historic Fort Snelling
Historic Fort Snelling, 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111
Saturday, October 8, 2022; 10am-4pm
Historic Fort Snelling is open on Saturdays from September 6 through October 29th for walking tours. The visitor center will also be open with displays. In 2021, the Minnesota Historical society shared results of ongoing archeological investigations at the fort, which included tools that show that there were people in the area making stone tools as much as 10,000 years ago. Walking tours begin on the half hour from 10am-3pm and are included with regular site admission. Adults $12; Children 5-17 $8; Kids 4 and under are FREE.
3. Celebrate the Land and Tour a Dakota Bark Lodge and Tipi
Gibbs Farm, 2097 Larpenteur Ave W, St Paul, MN 55113
Saturdays through October 29, 2022; 10am-4pm
Families can explore the site to learn more about traditional life-ways of the Dakota and investigate the native prairie, medicine garden, and traditional Dakota and pioneer crop gardens up close. Site tours that include the Dakota Bark Lodge and Tipi are offered on the hour. Drop-In. Admission prices: Adults $8; Seniors; $7, Kids $5.
4. Make a DIY Indigenous Art Scavenger Hunt at the MIA
Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm (and until 9pm on Thursdays)
The MIA website has a fun search tool for finding specific art. This search includes Arts of the Americas that are currently on display. These include art from indigenous populations in all states, including Alaska and Hawaii. Learn about your favorites before visiting the MIA and let the kids help make a “treasure map” to go look for them. Find and print a gallery map here. FREE
5. Delve Into the We Move and We Stay Exhibit exploring Minnesota Indigenous Communities
Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays 9am-5pm; Fridays & Saturdays 9am-8pm
This permanent exhibit on Level 4 of the science museum, displays objects and artifacts of generations of Dakota and Ojibwe people. Included with museum admission.
6. Study up on Native American Culture & History at Our Home: Native Minnesota Exhibit
Minnesota History Center, 345 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102
Thursdays-Saturdays 10am-4pm; Sundays 11am-4pm
The Our Home: Native Minnesota Exhibit examines Dakota and Ojibwe history through their own stories. Families can prepare ahead for this visit by delving into some of the additional materials at the link above. Get timed entry tickets here.
7. Explore the Pond Dakota Mission Park
Pond Dakota Mission Park is open to the public every day and there are programs each Saturday from 1pm-4pm. Gideon and Samuel Pond served as missionaries to the Dakota people during the mid to late 1800s. Drop-In FREE.
8. Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day and Native American Heritage Month with Z Puppets
Join Z Puppets for the release of a new Star Turtle web series at free, in-person events at five Hennepin County Public Libraries and the Mill City Museum.
Turtle & Wabbit must race through time and space on a quest to help Grandmother Turtle in this musical adventure to keep alive the Cherokee language..
A free online event with East Side Freedom Library
Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7:00 pm (CST)
Tune in for an online preview of Star Turtle: Episode 1 followed by a conversation about creative approaches to revitalizing Native American languages in this free, online event. Join Z Puppets and collaborators Hapistinna Graci Horne, Dakota/Lakota Curator and Storykeeper of Mnisota Native Artists Alliance and JW Webster, Cherokee Nation Language Educator. Register to get the Zoom link here.
9. Learn About and/or Buy Some Native Art & Books Birchbark Books
Birchbark Books, 2115 West 21st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Open daily 10am to 6pm
We are so lucky to have Pulitzer Prize winner, Louise Erdrich, counted among our amazing local author community. She is both a member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa community and the owner of Birchbark Books. She recently won the Pulitzer Price for The Night Watchman, which is a really good read but not appropriate for children. Her children’s book, The Birchbark House is a favorite among students, teachers and parents. Ms. Erdrich will autograph her books ordered through her store. The bookstore considers itself a “teaching bookstore,” so don’t be afraid to ask questions about the art and request book recommendations.
10. Make Your Own Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration at Home
Pick some of these ideas or research your own ideas for observing Indigenous Peoples Day at home.
Family Fun: Learn about traditional Dakota games in this full color PDF from South Dakota State University. Can you make any of these game with things you have around the house?
Read Aloud: Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask. Local author Anton Treuer is a professor at Bemidji State University. His book answers 120 frequently asked questions about Native Americans and Canadian First Nation people in a down-to-earth and friendly manner. While this book was written for children, I really enjoyed it as an adult.
Meal Idea: It is not super easy to eat like the Dakota in modern Minnesota. I have borrowed The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen (by local chef Sean Sherman) from the library and, despite the fact that these are indigenous recipes, I found the ingredients a bit “exotic” for the average family – it’s not like you can pick up buffalo, elk & deer at your average grocery store. However, this recipe is a perfect fall dinner and could be adjusted to fit your grocery options. I wouldn’t be afraid to swap out some of the more difficult to find ingredients for more familiar options. I’m sure it will still be a good stew with button mushrooms and beef. However, you might try shopping the Four Sisters Farmers Market, Indigenous-centered food market held Thursdays in Phillips Neighborhood in Minneapolis (1414 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404).
The Proclamation by Governor Walz and by President Biden:
Find official proclamations by the Governor of Minnesota here. Governor Walz renewed the statewide proclamation again in 2021. President Joseph Biden’s Proclamation making Indigenous Peoples’ Day a federal holiday in 2021 can be found on WhiteHouse.gov. The City Council in both Minneapolis and St. Paul had previously passed similar passed similar resolutions.
Events to Watch for Again in 2022
In 2019, the American Indian Magnet School (1075 Third St. E., St. Paul, MN 55106), hosted an Indigenous People’s Day Parade during the noon hour. We hope to see this become a tradition as events begin to open back up again. Read more at MPR.
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