Learning From Place: Bdote

Learning From Place: Bdote

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 | 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | $110*

*Includes 7 clock hours for educators, materials, continental breakfast, lunch, snacks, and transportation to the sites from MHC. If cost is a barrier, please contact Jessica Rust before registering.


Spend the day visiting local sites of significance to Dakota people and learning about them from Dakota perspectives. As you experience these places, you will challenge assumptions made about Dakota history and identity and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of places like Pilot Knob, Wakan Tipi, and Mounds Park to this land’s first people.

Come prepared to walk a total of two to three miles, rain or shine.

The name of the state of Minnesota comes from the Dakota language. The Dakota language is written on the landscape of the Twin Cities, in place names from Mendota to Anoka. The language is a reflection of a deep connection to this place. — Bdote Memory Map

“Experiencing the ‘sense of place’ on this tour has opened my heart and mind in a way a lecture, videos or books could never do.” – 2018 Participant

Indigenous people of this place have the longest relationship to the land. Because of the nature of this program and experience, the fee is waived for indigenous participants. Contact Eden Bart to register.

Attention Educators!

Take your Bdote experience back to the classroom and register for Teaching Bdote on Sept. 28.

Learn More

Private Tours

The Minnesota Humanities Center partners with organizations to offer this workshop for groups of 30-45. Fees apply. While we no longer have availability for 2019, please consider a private tour for 2020. Please contact Eden Bart, 651-772-4261, eden@mnhum.org for more information.

Content Leads

Ethan Neerdaels

Ethan Neerdaels — Bdewakantunwan Dakota – In 2012 he was a Minnesota Historical Society History Museum Fellow as well as an American Indian History Museum Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in American Indian Studies and a focus on the Dakota language, where he also was a teaching assistant of the beginning and intermediate Dakota language classes. He was the storyteller for the 2013 Shakopee Mdewakanton Community Wacipi. He recently began writing for Maḳóc̣e Etáη Yaóṭaηiη, a seasonal Dakota language publication. He is committed to the renewal of Dakota language and lifeways as well as the recovery of a Dakota land base.

Ramona Kitto Stately

Ramona Kitto Stately is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Nation. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dakota Art and Culture, and a Master of Arts in Education with a focus on teacher leadership. She has coordinated and directed Indian Education for the Osseo Area School District since 2005. Ramona is the mother of two adult children and is an accomplished artist who makes plains style moccasins. She believes that this is not only a traditional shoe covering, but a representation of the path we choose to walk in this life. She says, “As indigenous people today, we have to walk in two worlds and be successful in both. If we use our Native identity and traditional values as a foundation, we can walk forward into the future with confidence and success.”

Bdote Memory Map

Learning from Place: Bdote developed as a result of the Bdote Memory Map created by Mona Smith of Allies: media/art in partnership with MHC.

Mona Smith

Mona Smith, owner of Allies, LLC (dba Allies: media/art), is a media artist, consultant and educator. A member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate, she nurtures understanding Minnesota as a Dakota place. Mona has been a long-time consulting partner with the Humanities Center in projects that include creating the multimedia “Bdote Memory Map” and Between Fences documentary. Her work has been broadcast through PBS and other networks and been shown at festivals, conferences, museums, and galleries in Europe and North and South America. She has won multiple awards from Native and non-Native film and video festivals. Her most recent work has been in new media, developing art pieces for the Web and creating sites for Web distribution of Native-focused media. Mona’s multimedia installations include “Cloudy Waters: Dakota Reflections on the River” at the Minnesota History Center, “Mnisota Dakota Home” at Form + Content Gallery, and “Presence,” a multimedia-live performance event held twice at Mill City Museum on the Minneapolis Riverfront. She is currently working as an artist for the Bde Maka Ska site and for the Minneapolis institute of Art national exhibit “Hearts of Our People: Native When Artists.”

Cancellation Policy

If you are unable to attend an event, a substitute may take your place at no additional cost (you are responsible for making financial arrangements with your substitute), or you may request a refund. Email golden@mnhum.org to submit the name of the substitute or to request a refund.


  • Cancellations received more than 10 days before the event will incur a 20% cancellation fee
  • Cancellations received between five and 10 days before the event will incur a 50% cancellation fee
  • We are unable to provide refunds for registrations cancelled less than five days before the event

The cancellation fees cover the cost of event materials, meals, and other related arrangements. In the event that MHC cancels your workshop, you will receive a 100% refund. Refunds will be issued within five business days of cancellation notice.