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Fort Snelling 'Bdote' Signs Lead Some GOP Senators To Threaten Minnesota Historical Society Budget Cuts

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Fort Snelling sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, which the Dakota people called "Bdote."

But visitor signs at the fort using the word "Bdote" have some lawmakers upset.

"I do not agree with what the [Minnesota Historical Society] is engaged in doing, and I believe it to be revisionist history," said Sen. Scott Newman, (R) Hutchinson.

Newman and other Republican Senators say the historical society is attempting to change the history of the fort, which cannot be changed to fit modern or politically-correct interpretations.

Fort Snelling Bdote Sign
(credit: CBS)

"Whether our history is good or it is bad, we should know what it is because it will guide us in the future," Newman said.

The Senate Finance Committee is using the history snit to cut the historical society's budget by $4 million a year -- an 18% cut that could mean 80 layoffs and the closure of popular sites.

Democrats say it reeks of retribution.

"So, why do we take what is a gem of this state and just turn it upside down?" said Sen. Richard Cohen, (DFL) St. Paul.

The historical society says emphatically it is not changing the name of Fort Snelling -- only the visitor signs referencing the location.

"And some people don't like that because they like what we were told in kindergarten or first grade or fifth grade what our history is about. And our history isn't exactly what our history was about," said Sen. John Marty, (DFL) Roseville.

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