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Indian War Dance at White Earth, Minn. June 14, 2010.

The current thriving state of culture in Native Minnesota owes a tremendous amount to the dedication of the Native ancestors and elders who struggled to keep it alive during the 19th century. The 20th century saw further challenges to Native lifeways, yet Indian people have always managed to make the best of a bad situation. The role of pow wows in this cannot be underestimated – its insistence on a flamboyantly manifest Native presence has resulted in the arts as a principal bearer of indigenous survivance.  Projects of reclamation of indigenous languages like the Ojibwe People’s Dictionary, the fight for recognition of Native sacred sites like the one at Coldwater Spring, and the agitation for basic human rights for Native Americans continues.