Connecting with History: LFL Honors Dakota Homelands

By Talia Miracle

Little Free Library is excited to share a significant milestone that reflects our commitment to honoring the Indigenous communities whose history is intertwined with our very existence. 

Now on display at our office in St. Paul, is a Dakota land map created by local Native American artist, Marlena Myles. This map is a powerful tool that celebrates the ancestral territories on which we live and work. Minnesota is the traditional homelands of the Dakota people.

For too long, the Indigenous people’s connection to the land has been overlooked and undervalued. Their deep-rooted traditions, cultures, and wisdom have played an integral role in shaping the landscapes we inhabit today. At our organization, we firmly believe that acknowledging and understanding this historical context is essential in fostering a sense of inclusivity and respect.

We understand that knowledge is a powerful tool for change, and we aim to encourage ongoing conversations about the importance of preserving Indigenous culture, land rights, and sovereignty. With the map and our land acknowledgement, we hope to foster empathy, understanding, and appreciation for the Indigenous people’s contributions to our collective history.

The introduction of the Dakota land map at our office is a significant step towards embracing our shared history and fostering a sense of unity and reverence for the Indigenous communities. 

We invite our team members, partners, stewards and visitors to join us in acknowledging the stewardship of the original inhabitants of this land.

Marlena Myles is a local self-taught Native American (Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscogee) artist. You can find out more about her, view her artwork and purchase a land map on her website.

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