The Free Press, Mankato, MN


October 6, 2013

GAC class updating Lac qui Parle Mission exhibit unchanged since 1970s

GAC class updating Lac qui Parle Mission exhibit unchanged since 1970s

Eight history majors at Gustavus Adolphus College have been busy this semester.

The students, under the leadership of Ben Leonard, Nicollet County Historical Society director, and history professor Sujay Rao, are creating an eight-panel exhibit for Lac qui Parle Mission. The project is being done in conjunction with the Minnesota and Chippewa County historical societies.

The current exhibit hasn't been updated since the '70s, Leonard said. And due to past successful projects that Leonard and Gustavus students have teamed up on, the Minnesota Historical Society asked that Leonard tackle the Lac qui Parle project in a similar fashion.

“It's really time for that to be looked at again and be freshened up,” he said.

The mission was established in 1835, and it's the site where the first Dakota dictionary, grammar and gospel were completed. A chapel was built there in the 1940s by the Works Progress Administration to house artifacts and exhibits related to the Dakota and missionaries.

With a budget of $10,000 from the Minnesota Historical Society and a limited time frame, Leonard said two-dimensional story panels with images and text made the most sense for the exhibit. Also, the site isn't staffed, so they can't incorporate “priceless artifacts in a non-temperature-controlled, non-staffed situation,” Leonard said.

Three panels will be outside the chapel to provide context, focusing on the story of Lac qui Parle; the Dakota Nation culture prior to settlers; the arrival of the missionaries and traders; the cultural schism that occurred; and the tremendous change that happened so quickly.

Inside the chapel the panels will focus on topics ranging from church, school, religion, language, community and kinship, Leonard said.

“We want to make this relevant to the site visitors today,” he said.

Leonard said there are innumerable perspectives on these events among Dakota people, settlers and others. Part of the goal of the exhibit will be to explore the complexity of the history.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Yes It's True! Jessica Biel Returns to TV H-O-T! "Fifty Shades of Grey" Trailer Is Here! A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years Zoe Saldana is Reportedly Pregnant, Will Announce it When She's Ready Kim and Kanye's Daughter Takes Her First Steps Tori Spelling Lets Loose on Marriage Problems Selena Gomez Caught Snuggling With New Guy Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Selena Gomez Celebrates her 22nd Birthday with Cara Delevingne Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable NeNe Leakes Goes Off On Wendy Williams Check out JWoww's Post-Baby Bod PDA Alert! Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello Arm in Arm Cameron Diaz Cuts Interview Short Over Barrymore Talk Zoe Saldana's Alleged Baby Bump Causes Stir Zac Efron's Sexy Sleepover With Michelle Rodriguez Holy Bikini! Jennifer Lopez Takes It To Another Level Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl