“Treaties are about more than who owns what,” says the website associated with this excellent traveling exhibit, Why Treaties Matter. “They tell a story about how people relate to one another, and how people relate to the land.”
Relationships are key: family ties defined relationships for the Ojibwe and Dakota, business relationships did the same for the whites. The striking contrast between these worldviews is the subject of the exhibit.
Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, puts it succinctly: “We cannot have a complete understanding of what it means to be Americans without knowing about these relationships, whether we are Native Americans or not.”
This week is the last chance to see the exhibit at All My Relations Gallery, its only stop in Minneapolis (although it will be at Fort Snelling May 1-30). The statewide travel schedule, the story of the exhibit’s development, and additional materials are available here. The exhibit is sponsored by the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the National Museum of the American Indian. Find a way to see it–you’ll learn something valuable!