Visit Little Falls is excited to present the new addition of a series of displays located throughout the city’s parks as a part of the recent Wayfinding project. The project was funded by Visit Little Falls and Region Five, and came to fruition through the efforts of volunteers on The Welcome Committee, Little Falls’ students, and Visit Little Falls staff members. The Wayfinding project is meant to improve wayfinding for residents and tourists alike, invite people into the Little Falls community, and help to highlight and celebrate the history of the city and the Native American people.
Celebrating & Highlighting History
The history of the City of Little Falls and the area Native American people have long been intertwined, and one goal of the Wayfinding project is to celebrate this unique history between the two communities. This project will help tourists and residents to better understand the Ojibawee timelines and connection to Little Falls. The park displays include timelines tracking the historical events of the Ojibawee and Little Falls, and welcoming artwork created by a variety of artists including Adrienne M. Benjamin, an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) artist from the Chiminising community. The Wayfinding project benefits the community by including natural resources and history, and promoting inclusiveness.
The Wayfinding Project
The first reveal of the community Wayfinding art was on January 27th, 2022 at Great River Arts, and the project is now ready to be enjoyed by tourists and residents. The displays can be found throughout the local Little Falls community parks including LeBourget Park, Mill Park, Riverside Park, Pine Grove Park, andBelle Prairie Park. In total there are 15 Ojibawee Wayfinding displays, each with its own artwork and information. The project would not have been possible without the efforts of the 8 volunteers on The Welcome Committee including Katie Retka as the lead coordinator, two Little Falls students, and the Visit Little Falls staff.
About The Artist
A main part of the completion of the Wayfinding Project was the depiction of the cultural information found on each display. The displays were created by well-known artist Adrienne Benjamin, who also created the art at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum. Adrienne is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) artist from the Chiminising community, a part of the Mille Lacs Reservation and she grew up in Isle, Minnesota. A multi-disciplinary artist, accomplished arts administrator, social justice advocate, and renowned jingle dress maker, Adrienne creates different cultural embedded crafts with contemporary and traditional flair. Her main focus is creating current, socially relevant, and culturally significant work that intersects with Anishinaabe values, history, and lifeways. You can check out her work on the Wayfinding displays at various parks in Little Falls.
How To Use The Wayfinding Displays
To help visitors and community members explore and use the new displays, the Visit Little Falls team has put together a map to all the display locations. The Wayfinding displays are to be used to learn about the Ojibawee culture and the connection to the Little Falls community. You can also make use of the Visit Little Falls mobile app to enjoy the new displays, which can be found at littlefallsmn.com or downloaded from your app store.