Skip to main content

Someone vandalized the 'Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote' sign

They painted over the word "Bdote."

The new sign at Fort Snelling that prompted controversy earlier this month was found vandalized Wednesday morning.

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) told BMTN that staff noticed the "Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote" sign had been damaged, with someone "painting over the words 'at Bdote.'"

"Since then we have been able to remove the paint and the sign is back to normal," a spokeswoman said.

Most other such incidences of vandalism would be considered random, but the addition of "at Bdote" to the Fort Snelling sign has been a cause of consternation in some quarters recently.

Just last month, the Minnesota Senate passed a budget bill amendment that would cut MNHS funding by $4 million a year, potentially leading to up to 80 layoffs in a move apparently linked to the addition of "at Bdote" to the sign.

The amendment's authors, among them Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R–Big Lake), called the change in the sign an example of "revisionist history."

It's unclear why this has become an issue now, given that the society added "at Bdote" –the Dakota word for the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers at Fort Snelling – to the sign in 2017.

In response, the MNHS wrote an explanation for why it added the "at Bdote" to the Fort Snelling sign.

MNHS is dedicated to telling richer, fuller history, including expanded military stories of soldiers and veterans, Native Americans, enslaved and free African Americans, and women―stories supported by strong historical documentation and research, which help us better understand our state’s past and the Minnesota we live in today.

Our mission is to use the power of history to transform lives. Historic Fort Snelling is a place to provide context, to tell stories, to come together, and to talk about solutions. It’s a site that has relevance for today and for generations to come.

MNHS has not changed the name of Historic Fort Snelling, but in 2017, we added the words “at Bdote” to signage to signify the location of the site and to add broader historical context to the multiple complex stories shared there. Bdote is the Dakota word for the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers and the area surrounding the fort."

Next Up

Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow reneges on promise, will challenge GOP's AG candidate in primary

Wardlow's announcement sparked swift criticism from the MN GOP and the party-endorsed candidate, Jim Schultz.

Flickr - welcome to minnesota sign - Tony Webster

US News '150 Best Places to Live' features 1 from MN, 3 from WI

The latest US News list is for the most populous metro areas only, so no small towns.


7 tornadoes touched down last week in western MN, ND

Two of the seven were EF-2 level tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, May 17

72 hours of case data reported over the weekend is included in Tuesday updates.

Stallings surveillance footage - screengrab - crop

City of Minneapolis, Jaleel Stallings reach $1.5M settlement

Although a settlement was made, the city will not admit fault or take any responsibility for the incident as part of the agreement with Stallings.


2 rescued after kayaks capsize on Sauk River

Recent heavy rainfall produced a strong currents on the water.

covid 19 test

How to order 8 free at-home COVID-19 tests

A third round of free tests is now available from the U.S. government.


Three new Grandstand shows added for Minnesota State Fair 2022

The Beach Boys and Portugal. The Man are among several acts booked.

St. Louis County

St. Louis County set to declare state of emergency ahead of peak flood levels

Volunteers are urgently needed for sandbagging efforts in a small community near Voyageurs National Park.

Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 5.03.30 PM

Brothers Bar & Grill closes in downtown Minneapolis

The Midwest chain closed its St. Cloud location in 2018.


Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 12.36.25 PM

MNHS to consider a new name for Historic Fort Snelling

Any final decision would be up to the state legislature.

Historic Fort Snelling

Minnesota Historical Society keeps its funding after Fort Snelling row

The society had been threatened with funding cuts after changing the Fort Snelling sign.

Historic Fort Snelling

MN Historical Society facing deep budget cuts over Fort Snelling signs

Some Senate Republicans are calling the new signage "revisionist history."

Historic Fort Snelling

Revamped Historic Fort Snelling to fully reopen for first time since 2019

A $34.5 million revitalization project has been completed.

DNR signs deal to create affordable housing at Fort Snelling

Some 176 units will be built in the historic buildings at Fort Snelling.

State Patrol

Young woman killed in rollover crash on ramp at Fort Snelling

Police say she was traveling at a high rate of speed.

Volunteers place flags at all 200,000 graves at Fort Snelling

It's the first time the nonprofit has been able to achieve the feat.