Drawing from early Native Americans' and Fur Traders' first experiences with our blue waters through contemporary science and political headlines, We Are Water MN explores the connections between our cultures and our water in the Land of 10,000 Lakes — a state named after a Dakota phrase for "Land Where the Waters Reflect the Clouds" (Mni Sota Makoce).
The exhibition features both statewide and local information about Minnesota's position as the headwaters of three major basins; the sacredness of water to Minnesota's first peoples, the Dakota and the Ojibwe; geological and ecological changes over time; current water stresses; and our local stories about meaning and water use in the Red River Valley. Visitors reflect on these stories and add their own in an effort better educate ourselves about water in Minnesota; to highlight current Minnesota water concerns; and to further develop networks in Minnesota that can create sustainable water use and positive water stewardship.
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We Are Water MN is led by the Minnesota Humanities Center in partnership with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
We Are Water MN is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.
For more information about local water issues, please visit River Keepers.