Central Minnesotans Split on Fort Snelling Name Change
ST. CLOUD -- A small group of central Minnesotans gathered at the Stearns History Museum on Thursday night to discuss their opinions on the possibility of changing the name of 23 acres of land surrounding Fort Snelling.
The public meeting was the fourth of six presented by the Minnesota Historical Society who are renovating the site with a relaunch set for 2020. For the last two years, the land has unofficially been labeled Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote, the Dakota word for the meeting of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.
People at the meeting were split between those who believed a name change could right wrongs done in the past, and those who believed it would only serve to erase existing history.
Pat Frawley, a life-long Minnesotan, military veteran, and current resident of Mora proposed the name "Historic Fort Snelling: Spirit of Two Rivers" as an alternative.
That includes everybody: the African-Americans who were slaves, the Native Americans, the Japanese in internment camps, whatever, and it's on two rivers.
After meetings conclude in November, the historical society board may or may not bring forward a proposal to the state legislature to officially change the name based on public feedback.
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