Tonight: Standing in Support of Bde Maka Ska

Voices for Racial Justice, along with partners at Hope Community’s Parks & Power Campaign and The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Council stand in support of the Lakes Harriet/Calhoun Racial Equity Subcommittee of the Park Board’s Community Advisory Committee as they bring their proposal to the full committee tonight. The Subcommittee’s efforts grow out of a process put in motion through our consulting contract with the MPRB — and are part of the inside-outside strategy for advancing racial equity. Together we are pushing from the outside with partners working for change within the parks system. The Subcommittee will be presenting its proposal to the Community Advisory Committee tonight at the MPRB headquarters starting at 7:30pm.

PRESS RELEASE

Lakes Harriet/Calhoun Community Advisory Committee to Decide on 

Restoration of Name Bde Maka Ska

March 24, 2016

For Immediate Release

Minneapolis, MN – Tonight, the Racial Equity Subcommittee of the Lakes Harriet/Calhoun Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will present to the full CAC capital investment recommendations designed to improve racially equitable use and stewardship for the Lakes Harriet/Calhoun regional park. The highest priority recommendation is that the Minneapolis Park Board approve a resolution removing the name of white supremacist John C. Calhoun from Park Board property and supporting the restoration of the Dakota name Bde Maka Ska.*

In the 19th century, Calhoun, U.S. secretary of war and vice president from South Carolina, authored the genocidal Indian Removal Act and was an ardent supporter of slavery. His legacy should not be enshrined in our state.

The restoration of the name Bde Maka Ska is a first step in a process of truth-telling necessary to heal from the legacy of violence that manifests today as unacceptable racial disparities in our state. This is more than a name change; this is an opening to bring hidden history to light. “This is a huge opportunity. Name restoration will send a message across the country that we can tell the truth and begin to reconcile. Minneapolis can and should be a leader in moving toward a just future,” said CAC member Carly Bad Heart Bull.

We recognize the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board (MPRB) does not have full authority to restore the name, sharing jurisdiction with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Hennepin County Board of Commissioners; however, but the Park Board must take leadership in calling for the restoration. The Park Board has the opportunity to build community trust and respect in its leadership by taking this strong stance for racial justice.

For more information contact Lakes Harriet/Calhoun CAC Racial Equity Subcommittee members:

Carly Bad Heart Bull, cbadheartbull@gmail.com

Tracy Nordstrom, tracy@tracynordstrom.com/612.386.6257

 

Lakes Harriet/Calhoun CAC Racial Equity Subcommittee

The Parks and Power Campaign

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Council

Voices for Racial Justice

*bih-DAY muh-KAH SKAH

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