Most recent precedents:
There is a groundswell of support, especially in Isanti County, for the effort
to change the derogatory and profane (faulty-translation) name of Minnesota's
"Rum River". Some evidence of this groundswell of support can be witnesses by
the number of sites that have recently been named "Spirit River" or
"Wakan River". To view a list of sites named "Spirit River" or "Wakan River"
click groundswell of support
(1.) There's a precedent in Minnesota for changing the
In 1995, Minnesota became the first state to ban the name "squaw," resulting
in the renaming of 20 state geographic features. Since then, several other states,
Oregon and Maine, have banned the word. Reference:
October 3, 2006 - Star Tribune newspaper article
(2.) Last month, the Cambridge City Council took its own
Dahlheimer's crusade, voting to rename West Rum River
Drive to Spirit River Drive. Reference: October 3, 2006 - Star Tribune newspaper article
(3.) Along with the Cambridge campus of Anoka-Ramsey
College and the Isanti County Active Living by Design, the city (Cambridge)
also has named a part of a new community trail system Spirit
Nature Area. "We understand we can't rename the river
on our own, but we wanted to at least recognize the Native American history of this
Hiljus, Cambridge's city administrator. Reference: October 3,
Star Tribune newspaper article
To view more information about Spirit River Naure Area click nature area
(4.) An August 31, 2005 Saint Paul Pioneer Press "briefing" about the name-change
of Lake Wagonga to Lake Wakanda is presented below.
State officials are now recognizing a Kandiyohi County lake by its traditional
name. Gen Merriam, commissioner of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, signed
an affidavit last week changing Wagonga Lake to Lake Wakanda. That means Wakanda
is the official name for state use. Residents signed a petition a couple of
years ago to change the name to Wakanda, which is more closely aligned with the
Dakota word that means sacred place. The name is Wagonga Lake on current maps.
County officials approved the name change in July
Click name changes
to view a Minnesota DNR list of geographic place names that have been changed.
(5.) A Minnesota legislative precedent,
with the Rum River name-change movement, was set in the year
of 1995. The follow statement was published in 1995. "Recently the State of Minnesota
legislation making it illegal to sell
products that state or imply a connection to American Indian leaders; the law was aimed
particular at eliminating the sale of Crazy
Horse Malt Liquor in Minnesota.
More information about the 1995 legislative precedent can be found at:
legislation to change the name of a
produce that degrades Natives
An associated protest letter, by Jim Postema, can be found at:
"..the sad history of the use of alcohol by Europeans as a
tool to exploit Natives."