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Save the Falls

Save the Falls

Save the Falls   Over this week I’ve come to understand a lot more about a specific location and its associated place names in what is today known as the city of Ottawa. In 1613, Champlain observed this place, writing, “the water fall s…..with such impetuosity on a rock that with the passage of time, it has hallowed out a wide, deep basin…..the water whirls about to such an extent, and in the middle boils so vigorously, that Indians call…

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Naming News 01/24/18

Naming News 01/24/18

Naming News 01/24/18 Last year it was brought to my attention via Twitter that a motion was being put forth in Minneapolis, Minnesota to rename the city’s largest lake. The proposal to rename Lake Calhoun was brought before the Hennepin County Board in November where it passed by only one vote (Chanen, 2018) and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources approved the change on January 19, 2018. Actually, it’s really a rename of a rename and it’s a story that’s…

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Placename bumps and potholes

Placename bumps and potholes

Have you ever heard the name Lake Itasca? It’s a relatively small, not particularly deep glacial lake located in Minnesota. It also happens to be the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Minnesota is both traditional Ojibwe and Dakota territory (Indian Affairs-State of Minnesota, 2007), so it would seem to make sense that Itasca is a name of Indigenous origin. However, Lake Itasca is actually a great example of why we need to be very cautious when working on place names…

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