5 things to know: He Mni Can story panels, Red Wing 4

He Mni Can panels. 

1. In June 2016 the city of Red Wing released its master plan for He Mni Can. The plan includes a history of the bluff starting with its formation in prehistoric times, safety updates to trails and entry to paths, sustainability improvements, more opportunities for education at the bluff and more. 

The April 28 edition of Red Wing’s City Beat states, “Red Wing is grateful and humbled to be a partner with Prairie Island Indian Community on this stunning project at the base of He Mni Can-Barn Bluff. The new entrance is rich in history and stories and celebrates two communities coming together. The panels reflect connections both communities feel to the bluff.”

5 things to know: He Mni Can story panels, Red Wing 1

2. The Prairie Island Indian Community Facebook page states: “For the first time in 150-plus years, we the Dakota Oyate - Dakota people have been heard, respected and honored in our homelands. In partnership with the city of Red Wing, we are overjoyed by the recent installation of the story panels at the new entrance of He Mni Can, at the base of the bluff.

“This has been a five year long thoughtful partnership of two communities coming together. It is a start towards healing past trauma to move forward for a better tomorrow for the next seven generations. Prairie Island was not only involved in the entire process from start to finish but we were asked to tell our own story and to teach the history of the great Mississippi River Valley.

“To all who were involved and made this project possible, nina wopida! We encourage everyone to get out to He Mni Can and check it out!”

5 things to know: He Mni Can story panels, Red Wing 3

3. According to the city, the panels reflect connections that Prairie Island Indian Community and Red Wing residents feel to the bluff. On the large "storyteller" panels there are buttons that allow visitors to hear words spoken in Dakota by Arthur Lockwood, Prairie Island Dakota Language Program director. 

5 things to know: He Mni Can story panels, Red Wing 2

4. The panels teach about the history of the area, the bluff and the Mdewakanton Dakota people. Visitors will learn about Dakota oral history, the beginning and growth of the city of Red Wing, geology, writings about the bluff and surrounding landscape by famous historical figures such as Henry David Thoreau, why it is important to protect the bluff and more. 

The panels share interesting information that many visitors do not know. For example, one pa…

5 things to know: He Mni Can story panels, Red Wing 5

5. Final touches and landscaping will be complete in mid-June. While there are currently a few orange cones and sections roped off with caution tape, the new entry and the bluff are worth visiting today.  

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