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Mní Wičóni

WATER IS LIFE / THE RIVER IS A SPIRIT

A Tribute to Paul Reyelts.

Friends & supporters:

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Paul Reyelts on May 26, 2024. Paul was an integral piece of Owámniyomni Okhódayapi and was instrumental at every stage of our evolution from inception (St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam Conservancy) to the Dakota-led organization we are today.

Beyond his role as a co-founder, board chair and financial supporter of our organization, Paul was a true friend and passionate advocate for our natural spaces, the Mississippi River and the Dakota people.

Last year, reflecting on his experience, Paul shared:

“Our goal is to transform the central riverfront into a place of healing and connection, to the water and to each other, while changing the narrative of this place’s history by lifting up Native voices. As a non-Native board member, my role is to listen, learn and support Native leadership in achieving this goal. This has been the most inspiring and gratifying professional experience of my life.”

Through his dedication to restoring both the natural landscape and Dakota culture at Owámniyomni, Paul leaves behind a lasting impact poised to create meaningful change for Dakota communities and the Minneapolis riverfront.

Pidáuŋyayapi, Paul. We thank you.

Paul’s obituary can be found here.

Wókizi. Ihdúwitayapi. Waúŋspekhiye. Wówaš’ake. Wówakhaŋ.

Heal. Connect. Teach. Strength. Power.

Owámniyomni Okhódayapi is a Dakota-led non-profit creating a future where Dakota culture has a vital presence and Dakota values – such as mni wičóni, or water is life – are embedded into our communal existence. We are currently working to transform five acres of land at Owámniyomni (St. Anthony Falls) into a place of restoration, education, healing and connection.

First Season

Engagement that centers Native voices.

2016-2022

Second Season

Developing a framework for Dakota leadership.

2023-2025

Third Season

Transformation through cultural & environmental restoration.

2026-2027

Fourth Season

Connecting and healing with all our relatives.

2028+

Owámniyomni Okhódayapi

Turbulent waters. To be friends with, to be friendly, to befriend.
Pronounced: Oh-WAH-mini-yo-mini Oh-KOH-dah-yah-pee

Centering Native voices.

Tribal leaders, culture keepers, artists, and environmentalists convened to set guiding principles for this work.

Indigenizing the River.

A network of Indigenous-led projects are connected by water, spirit, and intent. Together, we have collective impact.

Care for land and water as relatives.

Early design ideas include restoring Indigenous landscape and reintroducing active, flowing, water to the site.

Events & Engagement

  • Owámniyomni Interpretive Tour

    Owámniyomni (St. Anthony Falls) has been a place of profound spiritual and cultural significance fo...

    July 8 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Owámniyomni Interpretive Tour

    Owámniyomni (St. Anthony Falls) has been a place of profound spiritual and cultural significance fo...

    August 5 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Owámniyomni Interpretive Tour

    Owámniyomni (St. Anthony Falls) has been a place of profound spiritual and cultural significance fo...

    September 7 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

In the News

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Press Release

Dakota-led design team announced for restoration of Owámniyomni (St. Anthony Falls) in Minneapolis

Dakota-led design team announced for restoration of Owámniyomni (St. Anthony Falls) in Minneapolis GGN selected as project’s lead design and landscape architecture firm MINNEAPOLIS (June 12, 2024) --  Owámniyomni Okhódayapi…