The Minnesota River Valley has a long and varied water history. There are several important waterways located within our region. This exhibit explores the importance of these waters and their continuing impact on living creatures and the environment through story, history, faith, ethics, the arts, and science.
The Minnesota River, Swan Lake, and other waterways have played an important role in the lives of indigenous people in this region for thousands of years. Native people used the river as a form of transportation, a food and water source, and a crossing point. It also contained a spiritual connotation for many. These early people set a precedent for responsibly appreciating and using the river and prairie wetland.
As evidenced by future land use by fur traders and Euro-American settlers, Native peoples passed on this appreciation through generations. But unfortunately, advances in agriculture and industry have changed that mindset.
Today, communities are exploring how to protect this valuable resource by envisioning the future of water.