DNR approves Lake Calhoun name change

Hennepin County asked the DNR for the lake name change because Lake Calhoun was named for pro-slavery former Vice President John Calhoun. But some nearby property owners challenged it. (Photo by Brian Peterson)

The Minnesota DNR announced Thursday, Jan. 18 that the State of Minnesota has approved changing the name of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis to Bde Maka Ska (pronounced Bah-Day-Ma-Kah-Ska). The DNR’s decision follows a Hennepin County Board resolution requesting the change.

The DNR’s decision means the lake name change will become official in Minnesota when the DNR’s approval is officially recorded by Hennepin County and published in the State Register. Hennepin County commissioners voted to seek the name change Nov. 28.

The DNR will submit the Hennepin County resolution, along with the state approval, to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, which will approve or deny the name change for federal use.

The DNR is the state agency that approves or denies name changes for geographic features, after Minnesota counties consider name change resolutions, gather public input and vote on proposed changes.

A copy of the DNR’s order for the name change and details on how Minnesota geographic features are named are available on the naming geographic features webpage.

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