MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The streets surrounding the largest lake in Minneapolis have a new name.
In a 7 to 2 vote Wednesday evening, the Minneapolis Park Board approved the renaming of the roads around Bde Maka Ska, formerly known as Lake Calhoun.
As the renaming of the actual lake remains in legal limbo, the Minneapolis Park Board is focusing on what they can control. The names of four parkways surrounding the water will be changed, replacing “Calhoun” with the original Dakota name, “Bde Maka Ska.”
Throughout the process, there were a fair share of vocal opponents, namely from residents who will be forced to change their addresses.
It also comes at a cost. The Park Board has already spent $9,500 on changing the park entrance signs. The new parkway signs are expected to cost less than $10,000.
“We need to leverage our tax dollars, and I’m disappointed that we’re not taking care of what we have, not filling potholes,” said resident Ed Bell.
This comes as the Minnesota Supreme Court is still deciding whether state officials had the authority to change the lake’s name in the first place.
The letters that make up a name on a street sign have a greater significance for Carly Bad Heart Bull, who is Dakota.
“Dakota is the language of Minnesota,” Bad Heart Bull said.
She hopes this small step leads to greater respect, knowledge and awareness of indigenous people and their history.
“Asking people to say three words is not too much to ask, especially when you consider why our language is in jeopardy,” she said. “It’s because of people like John C. Calhoun.”
The name change will take effect pretty quickly. Crews will start replacing the brown signs owned by the park board Thursday at 8 a.m.
It will take about eight weeks for the city of Minneapolis to change the green street signs.