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Lake Calhoun's name change now federally recognized as Bde Maka Ska

It's now official at the State and federal levels.

It was already showing up on Google maps as Bde Maka Ska, but the new name for the lake formerly known as Calhoun is now federally recognized, according to Dr. Kate Beane. 

The name change became official at the State level in January, but it wasn't until this week following months of waiting for the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to make it official at the federal level. 

Bde Maka Ska is the lake's original Dakota name, meaning "white banks lake" or "white earth lake." 

Why did they change the name?

The movement to revert Calhoun's name back to the Dakota translation follows a reassessment of the man it was named after: the former vice president, senator and slavery supporter John Calhoun.

But it didn't go without controversy. In January, local residents filed a lawsuit claiming that the Hennepin County Board violated statutes when it approved the name change. 

It'll likely take some time before the habit of calling it Lake Calhoun goes away, but signage around the popular Minneapolis lake has recognized it as Bde Maka Ska for months already. 

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