Our Home: Native Minnesota

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Minnesota Historical Society

Master Planning

Maple & Associates, LLC worked in collaboration with the Minnesota Historical Society to design and develop the new semi-permanent, exhibition: “Our Home: Native Minnesota.” Native Americans—Dakota, Ojibwe, as well as people from other tribal nations—have been in the Minnesota area for thousands of years and are still living there today. 


The exhibit highlights their personal stories, perennial presence, and profound connection with the land. The Minnesota Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institute provided authentic Dakota and Ojibwe artifacts for display alongside modern indigenous craft and art pieces. Some historic artifacts posed the challenge of delicate and precise display conditions while still being accessible to the visitor.

The central feature of the exhibit is a circular arbor symbolizing a traditional tribal meeting place. The structure is framed with solid maple (of course) and features a multimedia presentation and seating area. A large wall case, similar to a storefront window showcases various clothing from traditional, to uniform and even protest attire. The surrounding exhibit uses historic and contemporary photographs, maps and artifacts to illustrate historic and modern Dakota and Ojibwe life, their relationships with others, as well as their long-held connections to the land and water of Native Minnesota.

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