American Indians once protested outside the old Park Rapids library. Now they have a museum there.


October 16, 2023

Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

Puppeteer Christopher Lutter-Gardella, wearing a black bear outfit, entertained kids outside the Giiwedinong Treaty Rights and Culture Museum, which opened Thursday in Park Rapids, Minn.

PARK RAPIDS, MINN. - Not long ago, protesters demonstrated outside the former Carnegie library here that served as the temporary regional office for Enbridge, the Canadian multi-national company that was building a 1,097-mile oil pipeline through Minnesota.

The protesters, who called themselves water protectors, contended the pipeline endangered wetlands and violated Indian treaties. In the end, Enbridge won; the Line 3 pipeline was built, the company packed up, sold the building and left town.

But the old library didn't stay vacant for long. Last week, the Giiwedinong Treaty Rights and Culture Museum opened there - a Native-owned museum driving home the message that the struggle for Native rights continues on.


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