In April, District 196 schools will host a traveling exhibit that explores the relationship between American Indians and the United States government through the land treaties that were signed with the Dakota and Ojibwe tribes of Minnesota.
"Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations" will be displayed at Dakota Ridge School on Monday, April 2, from 4 to 7 p.m., and will then travel to the district's four high schools according to the following schedule:
- Rosemount High School Library April 3-6, with a presentation titled "Native Americans and Technology, Storytelling to Scantrons" on Thursday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m.;
- Eagan High School Library, April 7-12, with a presentation titled "Native Americans and Leadership, Yesterday and Today" on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m.;
- Eastview High School Media Center April 13-17, with a presentation titled "Native Americans and Lacrosse, More than a Game" on Monday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m., and
- Apple Valley High School Media Center April 18-20, with a presentation titled "Native Americans and Plants: The Story of Science and Culture" on Wednesday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m.
The exhibit is the product of a partnership between the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. It consists of 20 free-standing banners with text and photos, and a 10-minute video titled "A Day in the Life of the Minnesota Tribal Nations."
The following is an excerpt from a website about the exhibit: "Ojibwa and Dakota people who lived in what is now Minnesota signed dozens of treaties with the United States. Among these treaties are famous land-cession agreements in which sovereign American Indian groups retained ownership or use of natural resources -- land, water, timber and minerals -- or transferred these rights to the U.S.
But treaties are about more than who owns what. They tell a story about how people relate to one another, and how people relate to the land. In these frequently-misunderstood events, we find a contrast between different ways of looking at the world: material progress versus sustainability; business relationships versus family relationships; land as privately owned real estate, versus land as our connection to something bigger than our individual selves."
District 196 serves approximately 27,000 students in early childhood, K-12 and special education programs combined, and offers community education programs for residents of all ages. District 196 includes all or part of Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville, Coates, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville and Empire and Vermillion townships. For more information, visit www.district196.org.