MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled this week the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources had the authority to change the name of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis to its original Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska.
In a statement, DNR leaders said they are "pleased" to hear the court's decision.
"The Court affirmed the DNR’s long-standing exercise of its authority to work with local governments on the renaming of waterbodies and other geographic features," read the DNR's statement in part. "We welcome this decision, as it is important that the state and local governments be able to work together to address confusing, unsettled, or derogatory names."
Because the name had been Lake Calhoun for more than 40 years, the appeals court said, authority to change it rested with the Legislature under statutes governing lake and other place names. The DNR disagreed with that interpretation of the statutes and said it had the authority to change the name.
Hennepin County asked the DNR to change the name of Lake Calhoun because it was named for pro-slavery former Vice President John C. Calhoun, but some nearby property owners challenged the change.
The lake’s name will remain Bde Maka Ska.