Statement regarding today’s Court of Appeals ruling on Bde Maka Ska

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled today that the former Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner lacked authority to rename Lake Calhoun. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is not party to the lawsuit and recognizes that we do not have the authority to change the name of a lake in Minnesota.

The MPRB has supported the name restoration to Bde Maka Ska and is disappointed by the decision of the Court of Appeals.The DNR has 30 days to petition the state Supreme Court to review the decision and we encourage the DNR Commissioner to do so. Until the case is finally resolved, there is no action the Park Board needs to take.

MPRB Board President Brad Bourn shared the following statement regarding the ruling.

“The most beautiful lake in Minneapolis has been called Bde Maka Ska for generations before white settlers stole it from the Dakota. It will continue to be Bde Maka Ska for generations to come.

I take heart in the fact that every democratically elected body and the Commissioner of the DNR has supported the name restoration.

While it saddens me that 318 property “owners” on stolen Dakota land around Bde Maka Ska calling themselves “Save Lake Calhoun” have prevailed at this stage, I know that we’re standing on the right side of history and that its arc bends towards justice.

In the meantime, as president of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, I have no intention of spending any public resources honoring Vice President John C. Calhoun’s blood-soaked legacy of systemic violence against all our communities.”