St Cloud State University Art Installation

The narrative about Dakota and Ojibwe relations has always been told as singlularly one of conflict.  When St Cloud State proposed an art installation in their new American Indian Center, Heart Berry's artist Howes knew right away what she hoped for. "This area is so important as this place between our nations as Dakota and Ojibwe people. I really wanted to work with a Dakota artist on this project. Holly Young and I both loved the idea of sharing the story of the gift of the big drum from the Dakota.  The Big drum to me is such an Incredible gift of grace." 

This pencil to digital collaboration pulls together the old stories with a modern installatin by Turtle Mountain sign makers Poitra Designs. "We want to collaborate with Native companies anywhere we can.  We are excited about this family ran operation and their innovative work" Howes says about Poitra.

The University unveiled and launched the mural as its Welcome Back event this past September 14, complete with a welcome prayer, honor guard, Cedar Creek drum group, and visitors from University faculty and US House of Representatives. "This unveiling was very emotional.  Hearing the students share how this mural made them feel at home got us all teary eyed.  We really lay these pieces down as placeholders.  True land acknowledgements." Howes

"Sarah Agaton Howes and I completed this mural this past winter. It depicts the unique relationship between the Dakota and Anishinabe people and some of the beautiful traditions/gifts our people have exchanged. The Dakota gifted the Big drum to the Anishinabe, while they gifted us the Jingle dress...It is a huge privilege to be able to bring art to the students so that they feel seen and to the public so that they may learn about the original people in Minnesota. It was so touching to sit and listen to how the students felt when they seen the mural...Art is a gift to us all." shared Young

Come see the mural at the American Indian Center located in the hub of student life in St Cloud State University. Take a pic and tag us!

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