Created with the team of Angela Two Stars, Sandy Spieler and Mona Smith and with the guidance of descendants of Heyate Otunwe. Commissioned by the Minneapolis Public Art Fund, and the Minneapolis Park Board.
On the SE shore of Bde Maka Ska, Minneapolis, MN 2018
This site honors the Dakota grounding of this Land, and specifically Heyate Otunwe (Village to the Side). In the center of this site there is a 4 directions Circle, surrounded by Stone Boulders that spiral around the Circle, and then into the Lake.
Angela Two Stars designed the walking path stamped with Dakota words and images of pertinent plants, animals, and symbols. By making visible the Dakota words, we remember that this is the site where the historically oral Dakota language was first translated into a written script.
I designed the Railings along the walking path to reveal some of the food grown and shared at this site—Corn, Wild Rice, and the Three Sisters of Corn, Beans and Squash, and also heron, turtle, rabbit, crows. Angela designed the woman shooing away the crows, the strawberries, fish, stars and Dakota words. Mona Smith made film segments honoring the continuing legacy of this place ( and you can access these here—in progress).
Thanks goes to Mona Smith and Angela Two Stars, my collaborators, to Sydney Beane and Kate Beane for holding the vision to Ann Godfrey and Mary Altman from the City of Minneapolis Art in Public Places, and to Dan Elias and Colleen O' Dell from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
To Heather Doyle and Victoria from the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center and Hans Early-Nelson and Paris from Primitive Precision Metalcraft. To Brad Kaspari and Eric Papenfuss for computer work
And most especially for Bde Maka Ska who gifted me with nourishing support and honest beauty each day.
photos by Sandy Spieler, Bruce Silcox, Colleen Sheehy.