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Minnesota Supreme Court to hear arguments on Bde Maka Ska naming process

Updated: November 13, 2019 05:44 AM

Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court will hear arguments on the name of Bde Maka Ska, which was once named Lake Calhoun.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources changed the name in 2018, but others say DNR officials didn't have the right to change the name.

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The heated debate has now gone to the state's highest court.

The lake's previous name, Lake Calhoun, was given in honor of former Vice President John Calhoun.

However, the name came under fire after officials learned Calhoun supported slavery.

Last year, DNR officials decided to switch back to the lake's original Dakota name, which is Bde Maka Ska.

Now the question remains whether the DNR had the authority to change the name. The Court of Appeals ruled in April that it should be up to the state legislature to make an official name change.

Some families who live along the lake also started a "Save Lake Calhoun" campaign.

Conversely, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said renaming the lake Bde Maka Ska shows respect for Native Americans who have historically been pushed aside by people like Calhoun.

City officials already voted to change the names of streets surrounding the lake as well.


More from KSTP.com:

New street signs installed along Bde Maka Ska

Park Board votes to change name of Calhoun Parkway to Bde Maka Ska Parkway

Vote on changing Calhoun Parkway to Bde Maka Ska Parkway expected Wednesday


Members of the Minnesota Supreme Court won't decide on the lake's naming process Wednesday, but 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will have a camera in court as they hear the arguments.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for updates.

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