Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Red Wing residents, tribal members find common ground on He Mni Can


October 22, 2018

Red Wing, Minn. – The sign behind Art Owen said Barn Bluff, but the spiritual leader from the Prairie Island Indian Community told more than 75 people gathered around him last week that he was there to talk about He Mni Can, the Mdewakanton Dakota name for what's left of a massive promontory cradled between a bend of the Mississippi River and this city of more than 16,000.

Long before white settlers hacked away part of the hill for its limestone, the Mdewakanton Dakota revered it as a holy place, a lookout, campground and burial ground. In 1910, the city took over the land to save what was left and convert it to a park. But since the late 1950s, the most notable aspect of the bluff has been the broad rock face overlooking town, which proved irresistible to high school seniors who tagged it with their graduating class and other graffiti artists who turned it into a communal bulletin board.


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