An exhibit on the US-Dakota War created by the Nicollet County Historical Society and students and faculty from Gustavus Adolphus College will be displayed by the Smithsonian Institution. The 12-panel exhibit is titled: “Commemorating Controversy: The Dakota-US War of 1862.” It explores the events from the time Indians and settlers first met to recent efforts of reconciliation. The Nicollet County Historical Society’s Ben Leonard says that while it is “a painful point in Minnesota history, it’s something we all need to know more about, and it emphasizes what role the Minnesota River Valley has played not just in the history of this state but the history of this nation.” Leonard says that the idea for the exhibit grew out of a Gustavus class co-taught by himself and Gustavus Professor Elizabeth Baer. The final project for the class was for students to create the content for the exhibit. The exhibit opened in March of last year, and has been viewed by about 20,000 people so far. It will be shipped to the Smithsonian at the end of the year, and will be on display first in New York City and then Washington DC through mid-2015.
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