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Community Conversation | Relationships with the River: Water is Life

March 16, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Attend an upcoming Community Conversation to connect with Native leaders, the design team, and neighbors and discuss topics like restoration, programming, connectivity, and economic opportunity.

On March 16, Native leaders Robert Lilligren, Carrie Day Aspinwall, Sharon Day, and Wakinyan LaPointe will be joined by river experts John Shepard and Whitney Clark. We’ll discuss the River, its role at this place, and its relationship to people through time. We’ll consider the interconnected themes of ecology, history, rights of Water, and reciprocity with the River from an Indigenous perspective.


In person, food and beverage will be provided!

We invite all in our Minneapolis community to join the conversation and shape the future of the Falls.

Click here to enter the March 16 meeting virtually at 5pm, or use the Zoom information below.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 895 7257 9323
Passcode: 252055
Find your local number:

About the panelists:

  • Robert Lilligren is President and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), an appointed member of the Metropolitan Council, and Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID). Robert served for 12 years as the Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council, the first Tribal member elected to public office in the City of Minneapolis. He is enrolled in the White Earth Ojibwe Nation. 
  • Carrie Day Aspinwall, CDA Enterprises, facilitates meetings of the Native Partnership Council. Previously Carrie engaged residents, stakeholders and institutions across Minneapolis’ seventy-one neighborhoods in her role with the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department. Carrie is an enrolled citizen of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe/Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. 
  • Sharon M. Day, Ojibwe, is the Executive Director and a founder of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force (IPTF), formerly known as the Minnesota American Indian AIDS Task Force. She is an environmental activist and has led 20+ Water Walks since 2011, walking over 10,000 miles to offer prayers for these rivers. These extended ceremonies have occurred along the banks of the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Missouri, the Cuyahoga and Salt Rivers. 
  • Wakinyan Skye LaPointe is Sicangu Lakota, an Indigenous Human Rights advocate, and Co-Convener of the Mni Ki Wakan: Indigenous Water Decade. He centers Lakota knowledge, language, and ways of life in his work across human rights, working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and youth. 
  • John Shepard is an Associate Professor in the Hamline University School of Education and Assistant Director of the university’s Center for Global Environmental Education. John’s work as a media producer, writer, and educator is largely focused on the intersection of nature and culture. His public service experience includes board memberships with Project Environment Foundation, The Rivers Council of Minnesota, the YMCA, the International Crane Foundation, and the Trust for Public Land. 
  • Whitney Clark, Executive Director, Friends of the Mississippi River. During his 24-year tenure, Whitney has led FMR’s growth from a start-up group with one full-time employee to one of Minnesota’s largest and most effective conservation organizations. Whitney has extensive experience in environmental policy, lobbying, advocacy and education campaigns, partnership building around environmental issues and fundraising.

Recommended parking for in-person guests:
19th Avenue Parking Ramp
Located across the street from Humphrey School of Public Affairs
300 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455

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


Friends of the Falls & NACDI


Humphrey School of Public Affairs
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455 United States