About UNDERSTAND NATIVE MINNESOTA
What is narrative change?
Narrative change is the practice of intentionally changing for the better the general public’s views of a group of people through education, awareness raising, and constructively overcoming misunderstandings and misperceptions.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and other tribes have made important progress in recent decades in rebuilding their communities and cultures, and, in the process, reshaping many non-Natives’ perceptions of Native Americans. However, most Minnesotans still have little or no in-depth understanding of the state’s tribes or Native history and culture.
It is beneficial for Minnesotans of all backgrounds to have a better appreciation of Native Americans’ experiences and current circumstances through collaborative efforts to enrich and update the narrative about Native Minnesotans. To support this new narrative change work, the SMSC launched Understand Native Minnesota in October 2019.
Understand Native Minnesota is a multifaceted strategic initiative and philanthropic campaign focused on Native American narrative change in Minnesota’s schools. This campaign aims to improve public attitudes toward Native Americans by incorporating greater awareness and sensitive treatment of Native Americans, along with accurate information about their history, culture, and modern tribal governments into Minnesota’s K-12 education system.