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The 'Save Lake Calhoun' website now has a very different message

It comes a day after a court ruled its name change was illegal.
Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 9.59.02 AM

The website that was a rallying point for the effort to block the renaming of Lake Calhoun as Bde Maka Ska now features a very different message.

If you pay a visit to this morning, it'll take you to a white page with a single line of text.

"Actually, it's called Bde Maka Ska," it says.

Per MPR, it turns out that the domain for the website had expired and has been repurchased by someone who clearly prefers Bde Maka Ska to Lake Calhoun.

It comes a day after the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the lake's name change was illegal, with former DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr not having the power to approve the lake's change to its original Dakota name.

There was a movement to change the name of the lake based on the slavery-supporting past of its namesake, former Vice-President John C. Calhoun. The lake was named after Calhoun in the early 1800s, having been known by Native Americans as Bde Maka Ska until then.

The Court of Appeals decision follows a lawsuit brought by Save Lake Calhoun, which claimed to have compiled a petition against the name change signed by hundreds of residents living on or near the lake.

MPR News reports that the organization is funded by Linden Hills venture capitalist Tom Austin, who in a 2017 Star Tribune op-ed said that those who oppose the name change feel that Bde Maka Ska isn't "inclusive."

He then added: "These people raised a good question: What exactly have the Dakota Indians done that is a positive contribution to all Minnesotans? What is the heroism or accomplishment that we are recognizing in order to justify renaming the lake to Bde Maka Ska? Unfortunately, nobody had any answers."

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Austin has also been critical of "public officials spending all of this time and energy on the lake renaming issue."

But they'll be spending more time on it following the Court of Appeals verdict, with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board saying it won't change the signage on the lake and will encourage the DNR Commissioner to appeal the court's ruling.

"The most beautiful lake in Minneapolis has been called Bde Maka Ska for generations before white settlers stole it from the Dakota. It will continue to be Bde Maka Ska for generations to come," said Parks and Rec Board President Brad Bourn in a statement.

BMTN has reached out to Austin for a comment.

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