Quinn Evans collaborated with tribal representatives and city staff on a plan addressing the challenge: How can we change a community’s perception of this landscape—an indigenous place of burial drastically altered over the last two centuries to function as a public park—toward a perspective that is informed, empathetic, and respectful of its sacredness to Indigenous Peoples? The project is an initial step to update the city’s practice for preservation, awareness, and understanding of sites significant to American Indians. The interdisciplinary team conducted rigorous research to provide a basis for a shared understanding among diverse project participants, and the resulting Cultural Landscape Study presents a comprehensive framework for acknowledging the sacred site with a focal point on Indigenous Peoples’ heritage and environmental sustainability.
Landscape interventions and messaging strategies were created through an iterative and collaborative process with the Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs), the Project Advisory Team (PAT), the community, and the City of St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department. Direct guidance and collaboration with the THPOs from the Upper Sioux Community, Lower Sioux Community, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux, Prairie Island Indian Community, and The Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate—was essential to the process. The project is a collaboration with our consultants Landscape Architect Ten x Ten and Mona M. Smith, a Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota media artist.
To learn more about the project, check out the storymap here: