Historic Fort Snelling Presents Many Voices, Many Stories, One Place

For Immediate Release

Release dated: September 5, 2023

MNHS media contacts: Allison Ortiz, 651-259-3051, allison.ortiz@mnhs.org or Jack Bernstein, 651-259-3058, jack.bernstein@mnhs.org

New exhibit exploring real people’s perspectives opens to the public September 16

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (September 5, 2023) – Thousands of years of complex history will be told through the perspectives of dozens of individuals whose lives intersected with the site now known as Historic Fort Snelling. The new exhibit, Many Voices, Many Stories, One Place, will share those stories starting September 16.

“Historic Fort Snelling  is truly a site of converging histories. This new exhibit will create a powerful engagement with the past by digging deeper into the history that is well known and also uncovering new stories many Minnesotans may have never heard,” said Kent Whitworth, Minnesota Historical Society director and CEO.

The exhibit will teach visitors about 

  • Bdote, sacred Dakota Homeland at the confluence of the Mni Sota Wakpa (Minnesota) and Haha Wakpa (Mississippi Rivers)
  • Native American history, Dakota knowledge, and contemporary Native perspectives 
  • The military fort that played a pivotal role in our nation’s history
  • Fur traders and the age of Minnesota’s expansion
  • The legal battle over slavery that launched a national debate
  • A language school where thousands of Japanese-Americans worked during World War II
  • An all-Norwegian battalion organized to liberate Norway from Nazi occupation

“This is one of the most pivotal sites in Minnesota’s history, and even our country’s history,” said Dr. Bill Convery, director of research at the Minnesota Historical Society. “We’ve been honored to work with dozens of community members, veterans, archeologists, tribal leaders, and historians to determine the most important stories and how to tell them in a way that will help people understand our shared history.”

“This historic site brings a range of emotions for Native people, in particular, Dakota people,” said Dr. Amber Annis, Director of Native American Initiatives at MNHS. “This exhibit is a powerful example of the importance of telling stories from the perspectives of those who lived them.” 

Many Voices, Many Stories, One Place is many years in the making, thanks to the work of research and exhibit teams at the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS). It will be located in the Plank Museum and Visitor Center, which opened in May 2022 and is open to visitors year-round. This is the final piece of a two-year revitalization project at Historic Fort Snelling.

The media is invited to get a first look at the exhibit before it opens to the public. A preview is planned for Friday, September 15th. Please contact Allison Ortiz at allison.ortiz@mnhs.org or 651-259-3051 to secure your time.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs, and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories, and connects people with history.