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…A movement has grown at Standing Rock, inspiring the largest gathering of American Indian tribes in over a century. In attempting to understand this historical contestation over water resources and tribal sovereignty, the question of treaty rights has been on the lips of Standing Rock water protectors, as well as scholars, community leaders, politicians, and commentators.
In November 2016, I visited Water/Ways, hosted from October 1 to November 13 at the Goodhue County Historical Society in Red Wing, Minnesota. This traveling exhibition and community engagement initiative— which then moved on to Sandstone, Minnesota—is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street and is available at a series of venues nationwide through April 2017.
Citizens who appreciate the importance and preservation of our country’s natural resources know that governmental agencies need assistance to do their jobs. That’s why in the conservation arena so many not-for-profit or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are acting to augment and monitor the work of the government agencies.
Healing Place Collaborative (HPC) is an association of 40 professionals from many fields who share an interest in the Mississippi River as a place of healing and a place in need of healing. Indigenous-led and artist-led, the group includes language activists, educators, environmentalists, scientists, therapists, community organizers, public officials, and scholars.
The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area touts itself a “partnership park,” but what does that mean, especially in the context of the National Park Service (NPS) overall? When most people think of national parks, they imagine Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, the Everglades, the Statue of Liberty, or some other iconic park or place.
When I got fully engaged with Mississippi River work, in the mid-90s, there was a lot of talk about public-private partnerships. That has ebbed and flowed and morphed over the years, but the idea of partnership has remained. Pretty much anyone in any sector—public, nonprofit, or corporate—understands that work beyond a small one-time project rarely happens through just one entity.