Yale's split with Calhoun prompts more discussion of Minneapolis lake name

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tags: slavery, Yale, John C. Calhoun

The idea of renaming Minneapolis' most popular lake is bubbling up again after Yale University struck John C. Calhoun's name from one of its residential colleges.

Citing Yale's decision last month, some Minneapolis Park Board members are renewing a push to scrap the Lake Calhoun name in favor of Bde Maka Ska, the lake's Dakota name. Calhoun, the seventh vice president of the United States for whom the lake is named, was an influential and lifelong advocate of slavery. While the board previously settled on labeling the lake with both names rather than making an official change, the Park Board has a chance to revisit the idea before finalizing the Calhoun-Harriet master plan this spring.

"I know John C. Calhoun doesn't reflect the values of the city of Minneapolis," said Commissioner Brad Bourn, a proponent of changing the name. "We're at a point in history that it's critical that we recognize the contributions of First Nations people and recognize that they're welcomed members of the community and they always have been and this is really a small way we can do that."

But other Park Board members aren't convinced about the need for change, and wonder if it would be the start down a slippery slope.

Read entire article at Minneapolis Star Tribune

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