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March 10, 2022 (MINNEAPOLIS) –

A March 16 public conversation will discuss the future of federal land near St. Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis. The meeting is part of an ongoing community engagement effort to establish long-term stewardship and use of this land, which is anticipated to transfer into municipal ownership and control later this year.

Friends of the Falls and the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) are partnering with the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board to consider the future of the Upper Lock at the falls, known as Owámniyomni to the Dakota people. The lock closed to commercial navigation in 2015, and both the City and Friends of the Falls have been advocating for the transfer of land to municipal ownership in an effort to transform the site into a community asset and restore public access to the riverfront.

Community Conversation
Relationships with the River: Water is Life

5-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 16
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs 301 19th Ave., S.

Native leaders Robert Lilligren, Carrie Day Aspinwall, Sharon Day, and Wakinyan LaPointe will be joined by river experts John Shepard and Whitney Clark to discuss the Mississippi River, its role at the falls and its relationship to people through time. They will also consider the interconnected themes of ecology, history, rights of water and reciprocity with the river from an Indigenous perspective.

Guests may participate in person or virtually, but registration is required. Refreshments will be on hand for in-person guests who need to wear masks when not eating or drinking. People who cannot attend can share their thoughts by completing an online survey.

Upcoming conversations include:

  • Restoring a Story Disrupted: What Can This Place Become?
    April 12
  • Building Connections
    May 21
  • A Powerful Place for Partnerships
    June 15

Friends of the Falls is a non-profit organization focused on building public understanding of the falls and its importance to Indigenous communities. More information is available at