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Banners Posted Across Lake Calhoun Signs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A number of signs around Lake Calhoun were altered on Wednesday to obscure the name of the recently controversial Minnesota historical figure.

John C. Calhoun was a former war department secretary who helped bring Fort Snelling to Minnesota.

He is also known for supporting slavery, which became a major talking point earlier this summer as South Carolina wrestled with what to do with the Confederate flag in the wake of a mass shooting at a historic church in Charleston.

A number of people thought the name of Calhoun should be removed from the Minneapolis lake in deference to contemporary views.

"I'm appalled that Lake Calhoun would be named after someone who supported the institution of slavery. I'm a descendant of slaves, I still see the effects of the impacts of slavery," Minneapolis NAACP chapter president Nekima Levy-Pounds said in June.

On Wednesday, someone posted over a number of signs around the lake, according to Dawn Sommers with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

The signs referred to the body of water as Lake Mde Maka Ska, which is the name the lake goes by among the Dakota people, and which loosely translates to White Earth Lake.

Spotted this morning - the signs were changed all along the lake. YES!!! #changethename

Posted by Liz Loeb on Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The signs were posted just as the Parks and Recreation Board was preparing to meet to discuss whether or not the lake name should be officially changed from Lake Calhoun.

During their meeting Wednesday night, the board did not make any official changes to the name, but voted to add signage with the lake's original Native American name.


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