News Release

DNR to appeal court's ruling about naming of Bde Maka Ska

May 1, 2019

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced that it will appeal the Minnesota Court of Appeal’s recent decision regarding the naming of Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis. The DNR will submit its petition for review to the Minnesota Supreme Court by May 29. 

According to Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen, "DNR is very concerned with the implications of the Appeals Court’s ruling for our ability to work with county boards to reflect community standards in how the state’s waters are named. We have long worked with counties in eliminating offensive or derogatory names."

"We are also concerned with another aspect of the Appeals Court’s decision. Specifically, it opens the door for people to challenge a range of final agency decisions well after established appeals periods. This presents the potential for considerable disruption in the normal order of government decision making."

In its ruling Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed DNR’s January 2018 approval of Hennepin County’s request to rename Lake Calhoun as Bde Maka Ska. DNR based its approval on the longstanding understanding of its authority under relevant state statute, the fact that Bde Maka Ska meets all state naming criteria, and the fact that Hennepin County met all public process and other procedural requirements in asking DNR to approve the name change request.