Statement from the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums Regarding the Minnesota Senate’s Proposed Funding Cut to the Minnesota Historical Society
This week, the Minnesota Senate passed an appropriations bill that would reduce funding for the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) by $4 million dollars annually. This level of funding loss could result in as many as 80 of our colleagues being laid off, reduced hours at historic sites, potential closure of historic sites, and reducing the number of education programs that MNHS can provide to students across the state. We strongly disagree with this reduction and feel that full funding should be restored to MNHS.
Public historians, like other professional fields, have a responsibility to examine all new evidence and data as well as reexamine existing scholarship as it relates to the study of the historical record and place. Acknowledging the depth and breadth of the historical record of place is not revisionist history or controversial; it is acknowledgement of the complexity for which that place represents. For most Minnesotans, Fort Snelling represents a military outpost. But for the Dakota, Bdote represents a place of cultural significance to their story. Through acknowledgement of Fort Snelling and Bdote on signage at this historic site, MNHS is not engaging in “revisionist history” or acting in a manner that is “highly controversial”. They are acknowledging that this place has significance for many different reasons and has more than one narrative that needs to be interpreted for visitors to understand those significances. By definition, this is doing good history work. This is the craft of the public historian.
We ask our elected officials to reexamine this decision and restore full funding to MNHS so they can continue to do their work as public historians and aid all Minnesotans in better understanding the great state that we call home from all perspectives.
For resources on how to contact your legislator to show support for fully funding MNHS, please visit our advocacy page.
4/26/2019 05:29:21 pm
The petulant and small minded decision to punish the appreciation of history in the State of Minnesota is unfortunate. When we as a people become more aware of and appreciative of our culture and its foundation, it is appropriate to acknowledge that awareness. The flat earth society that refuses to do so and punishes to get its away is beneath Minnesotans.
Flora Lee Rauch
4/26/2019 05:44:53 pm
Blessings to those pushing back on the proposals to deplete funds to the MN Historical Society.
5/8/2019 10:13:53 am
Politics aside, here is a link to a YouTube video where Dr Greg Brick examines some of the geology and rocks on the back wall of Fort Snelling and the bluff it sits on. Some might find the geology there interesting. The Platteville Limestone is what the original fort walls were mostly constructed with. Platteville limestone is not the best weathering rock. Platteville limestone was (is) readily available there at the bluffs of the Fort, hence its usage in the construction of the fort. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JorxXmvv8kg&t=405s As for Bdote, it seems more than reasonable the Dakota would have had a name for the junction of two large Rivers. One person I know who has knowledge of the subject suggests if a word like (Bdote) existed it would likely be Mdote, not Bdote. I fully support your mission. Thanks for taking a look. https://www.mnhistoryalliance.org/advocacy.html
11/16/2022 01:49:55 pm
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