Minneapolis agrees to rename Lake Calhoun Park as Bde Maka Ska Park

It's been renamed Bde Maka Ska Park by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.
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While the name of the lake remains the subject of legal action, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has moved to change the name of Lake Calhoun Park.

The board voted on Wednesday to officially change the name of the park to Bde Maka Ska Park, coming amid a wider discussion about the name of the famous lake.

Earlier this year, a Court of Appeals ruled that the Minnesota DNR commissioner did not have the power to revert the lake to its Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska, as it had been called Lake Calhoun for more than 40 years.

But the city intends to challenge that ruling in the Minnesota Supreme Court, and in the meantime the Parks and Recreation Board has been renaming streets and parks over which it does have jurisdiction.

It's currently in a comment period on plans to rename four streets around the lake to remove reference to "Calhoun," including East and West Lake Calhoun Parkways, with a full hearing and vote expected to be taken in August.

But the action and full vote to rename the park happened on Wednesday.

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The move to change the name of the lake was opposed by a group of local homeowners, who filed a lawsuit against the DNR that led to the Court of Appeals verdict in April.

They claimed the lake was the victim of "extremist name-change advocacy" relating to John C. Calhoun, who was instrumental in the founding of Fort Snelling but was a notable defender of slavery.

The lake's name change to Bde Maka Ska has however been recognized by the federal government and is staying as such, even though its name at the state level is still subject to discussion.

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