Minnesota Supreme Court to Review Bde Maka Ska/Lake Calhoun Case
The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear the Bde Maka Ska/Lake Calhoun dispute in order to decide if the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources overstepped when it changed the name of the lake in early 2018 to the lake’s original Dakota name.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in April that the Department of Natural Resources had, in fact, overstepped its authority. The Court of Appeals ruled that the authority to change the lake’s name should have been left to the state legislature under statutes governing lake names and other place names. The Department of Natural Resources disagrees with this interpretation, arguing that it had the authority to change the name, and appealed the Court of Appeals’ decision.
The Minneapolis lake had been named Lake Calhoun for over forty years before it was changed to Bde Maka Ska by the Department of Natural Resources. Originally, Hennepin County requested this change due to Lake Calhoun’s connection to a former pro-slavery Vice President, John Calhoun. The name change has been a source of dispute since it happened.