The Science Museum of Minnesota preserves a collection of over 10,000 Native American objects. Nearly 1,500 objects in the collection are from the Dakota and Anishinabe tribes. According to Curator of Ethnology Tilly Laskey, the collection is one of the “best kept secrets in the Midwest”. Educators' Guide

Included in this collection are artifacts from Bishop Whipple, the first Episcopalian Bishop in Minnesota to work with the Dakota and other Native American tribes in 1860s.

An altar cloth, a beaded cross and other sacred objects combine two distinct spiritualities in artistic renderings. They demonstrate the concept of “dialogic” or how two different cultures can influence one another.

The Science Museum currently works with Native American students at American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center (AIOIC) to cultivate ethnobotanical specimens like corn, squash and tobacco to expand their ethnobotany collection.

Curator since 1985, Laskey says working with the people who have a connection to the objects is most rewarding.

Minnesota Music in this Segment:

Brent Michael Davids
Glen Helgeson