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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 is 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 improves wayfinding for residents and tourists alike, invites people into the Little Falls community, and helps to highlight and celebrate the history of the city and the Native American people.
The history of the City of Little Falls and the area Native American people is intertwined, and the Wayfinding project celebrates this unique history between the two communities. This project helps 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 first reveal of the community Wayfinding art was on January 27th, 2022 at Great River Arts. Tourists and residents can now enjoy the project! The displays can be found throughout the local Little Falls community parks including LeBourget Park, Mill Park, Riverside Park, Pine Grove Park, and Belle 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.
A main part of the completion of the Wayfinding Project iss the depiction of the cultural information found on each display. The displays are 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 dressmaker, Adrienne creates different culturally 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.
To help visitors and community members explore and use the new displays, the Visit Little Falls team has put together a map of all the display locations. The Wayfinding displays help visitors learn about the Ojibawee culture and the connection to the Little Falls community. Use the Visit Little Falls mobile app to enjoy the new displays. Download at littlefallsmn.com or your app store.
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