Babette Sandman

©Jonathan Thunder. Used with permission.

Duluth's indigenous community is gathering at City Hall on this rainy Monday to sing, celebrate a new eagle staff, and observe a moment of silence.

Colombus Day has been controversial for a long time now; many people see his "discovery of the New World" as the first step down a long road of devastation for the people who were already here.

But in Duluth, organizers are moving from "a day of mourning" to one of celebration - one that can make their children proud of their heritage.

http://www.duluthmn.gov

The process to rename Lake Place Park Gichi 'ode Akiing (gih chee o DAY  ah king) or "Grand Heart Place" and  in so doing, recognize the Native community's long presence in what's now called Duluth continues.

Babette Sandman is the chair of the Duluth Indigenous Commission and she has big dreams for the project, including a naming ceremony that would bring all nations together, and opportunities for teachings and new beginnings.