Monday, March 9, 2015

Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork Exhibits “Why Treaties Matter”

The “Why Treaties Matter” exhibit in the Edge Center Gallery is especially designed to facilitate learning for Bigfork School students. It will be open to the public on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00-1:00 from March 2 until March 27.  On March 11 at 1:30 pm an Opening Ceremony will officially open the exhibit and be followed by a reception.  The public is welcome.

“Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations,” is a traveling exhibit that explores the Native nations in Minnesota and their history of treaty making with the United States.  The exhibition is part of a statewide tour that began in 2011. It will be both fascinating and very informative to anyone with an interest in history and how it affects current daily life.

In August 2010, 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. made it possible for the exhibition to be developed as an educational tool for Minnesota audiences.

                                Above is Exhibit at Christian College Bethel University

"Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nation is a nationally recognized, award-winning, traveling exhibit made in partnership with the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The exhibit has expanded to include seven educator guides of innovative classroom material and an enhanced virtual exhibit available at"  Read more at:

The exhibition 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.” A touch screen TV that allows viewers to chose short stories about topics that interest them is also part of the exhibit.

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 the treatment of the land’s Indigenous peoples today.

                                         Above shows the Exhibit at the MN Sate capitol

“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."

Note the wall title on the above Edge Gallery photo announcing the Edge Center's Tenth Anniversary year. The past ten years have been made possible because of the generosity of the community. The volunteers have been our only way of providing every aspect of the Edge experience for the community. And without the generosity of our all our supporters with financial, volunteer time, and innumerable kinds of materials, The Edge Center would simply not exist. Thank you so very much. Below are two volunteers setting up this exhibit.

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