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Contact: Katryn Conlin, Communications Director
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Southeast Technical will host traveling "Why Treaties Matter" exhibit on the Winona campus February 1-19

Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations 

A traveling exhibit presented by the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian
February 1-19, 2016; weekdays (closed Feb. 12 & 15)
Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical, Main Lobby, Winona campus
1250 Homer Road, Winona, MN

Winona, MN (January 29, 2016) -- "Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations" is a traveling exhibition that explores the Native nations in Minnesota and their history of treaty making with the United States. The exhibit will open on February 1, 2016 at Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical's Winona campus, where it will be on view in the Main Lobby through February 19. This exhibition is part of a statewide tour that began in 2015 and will run through 2016 year with visits throughout the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system under the auspices of the Minnesota Humanities Center and its partner, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council.

The exhibition includes 20 free standing banners with evocative text, maps, and photographs from historical archives and contemporary settings. A large touchscreen display is available with a selection of related videos. This exhibit reveals how Dakota and Ojibwe treaties with the U.S. government affected the lands and lifeways of the Indigenous peoples of the place we now call Minnesota, and explains why these binding agreements between nations still matter today. 

"We are very proud to host this exhibition at our campus," says Southeast Technical President Dr. Dorothy Duran. "This is an opportunity to share important history and cultural information so that we may all better understand the circumstances surrounding Minnesota land, its use, and the land's Indigenous peoples today. It's an impressive exhibit and I would urge people to take the time to view it."

"The history of Indian treaties is the history of all Minnesotans and all Americans," says Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. "Even now, states, Native nations, and the federal government continue to engage on a government-to-government basis every day, making in effect new treaties, building upon those made many years ago. We cannot have a complete understanding of what it means to be Americans without knowing about these relationships, whether we are Native Americans or not."

Southeast Technical's Winona campus Main Lobby is open on weekdays throughout February (campus closed on Friday, Feb. 12 and Monday, Feb. 15). For more information about the project, visit 

Why Treaties Matter is a collaboration of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. This exhibition was developed with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008 and The Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation. This tour is made possible by a partnership with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.


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About the Minnesota Humanities Center
Founded in 1971, the Minnesota Humanities Center is a nonprofit organization. The Humanities Center is a resource of the state of Minnesota and affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Minnesota Humanities Center works to build a thoughtful, literate, and engaged society through education, partnership, and public programs. Contact: Elizabeth Fei, Minnesota Humanities Center, 651-772-4244,

About the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council
The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council was established in 1963 MN Statutes Chapter 888, Sec. 2 (3:922). The Council is a liaison between the State of Minnesota and the 11 tribal governments in the state. The Council provides a forum for and advises state government on issues of concern to urban Indian communities. The Council administers three programs designed to enhance economic opportunities and protect cultural resources for the state's American Indian constituencies. Contact: Annamarie Hill, Executive Director, 651-296-0041, 

About the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
Established in 1989, through an Act of Congress, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is an institution of living cultures dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The museum includes the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall; the George Gustav Heye Center, a permanent museum in lower Manhattan; and the Cultural Resources Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Md.

About Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical
Southeast Technical is a two-year institution that provides its students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they will need for a lifetime of learning. With more than 30 programs of study and 90 degree, diploma, and certificate options, many students are prepared to launch a career in a technical or trade field as soon as they graduate. Others begin the pathway to a four-year bachelor's degree by earning transferable college credits in liberal arts and sciences. The Winona campus opened in 1949, merging with the Red Wing campus in 1992 and becoming Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical in 1999. Southeast Technical is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. For more information, visit


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WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

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