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Name change approved for Lake Calhoun

DNR decision removes name of pro-slavery politician.

Posted: Jan. 18, 2018 3:20 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The state of Minnesota has approved changing the name of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis to its original Dakota Indian name of Bde Maka Ska (beh-DAY' mah-KAH' skah).

Thursday's decision by the Department of Natural Resources follows a request by the Hennepin County Board.

Lake Calhoun was named in the 1800s after former vice president, senator and outspoken slavery supporter John Calhoun. The name Bde Maka Ska means White Earth Lake in the Dakota language.

Some Minneapolis residents opposed the change as an unnecessary rewrite of history. But DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr says he's confident that the county board carefully considered community values and citizen perspectives.

The DNR will submit its decision to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, which will approve or deny the change for federal use.

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