Alexandria celebrates American Indian cultures
Although Alexandria may not have a large population of American Indian residents, they deserve to be celebrated.
That’s why the Alexandria City Council has proclaimed May as American Indian Month.
The council approved a proclamation at its May 23 meeting that noted the following:
• American Indians have played a vital role in the life and history of the city of Alexandria, the state of Minnesota and the country.
• American Indians should forever continue to be acknowledged as a people of great dignity, perseverance and pride.
• Many of the contributions made by American Indians are unknown and unrecognized by many citizens.
• The city recognizes the need for greater understanding of the depths of the American Indian culture and the need to preserve this heritage by sharing and learning through cultural exchanges.
• The state of Minnesota is also observing May as American Indian Month.
The proclamation encourages everyone in Alexandria to “commemorate the month with appropriate activities, and to celebrate, educate and learn about our American Indian heritage.”
Julie Blank, director of the Runestone Museum in Alexandria, showed the council a small sampling of the American Indian exhibits that are on display at the museum, including a headdress, drum, model-sized teepee, peace pipe and moccasins.
She also gave a brief presentation, explaining some of the differences between the Sioux and Ojibwe tribes. The Ojibwe, for example, use floral patterns in their designs while the Sioux prefer geometric shapes.
Later in the meeting, Alexandria resident Jennie Hevern thanked the council for honoring American Indians and for having a cultural inclusiveness committee.