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Illuminate the Lock

February 19, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

A free event hosted by Mississippi Park Connection, Northern, and the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI).

With images of the Grandmother moon (Nokomis), fire, earth, water, and the jingle dress dance entwined in swirling colors, Madweyaashkaa: Waves Can Be Heard celebrates the resilience of Indigenous women on a spectacular scale. Animations by artist Moira Villiard are projected onto the 400 x 50 foot wall of the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock wall is synced with a soundscape of music composed by Lyz Jaakola (Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe) and a recorded narrative by Dakota/Ojibway First Nation elder Millie Richard. Viewers will also find three silent video projections with flickers of imagery from the main video distributed around the lock.

This piece will explore themes of homecoming and finding connection within ourselves to culture, ancestors, and nature, no matter how far away we may sometimes feel. From an Anishinaabe perspective, it is a reminder that Nokomis is always around, an elder always ready for us to reach out and willing to hear what’s in our hearts.

A note on place and language:

Owamni-yomni is ‘whirlpool’ in the Dakota language. Gakaabika is ‘severed rock’ in the Ojibwe language. Both are the names of the place where the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam currently sits, in the homelands of the Dakota.

Prior to colonial settlement, the Dakota lived along Owamni-yomni / Gakaabika and Ojibwe,Ho-Chunk, and other nations traveled through that place. It was and still is an important and sacred place to Ojibwe, Ho-Chunk, Dakota and Indigenous peoples currently living here.


St. Anthony Falls Upper Lock Visitor Center
1 Portland Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55401 United States


Mississippi Park Connection