Historic FR – Visitors Beware – May 2017

Historic Fort Ridgely – Visitors Beware – May 2017
© June 2, 2017, John LaBatte
Updated on June 11, 2017

This is the 2nd notice to the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) and to the Nicollet County Historical Society (NCHS) that serious problems exist at Historic Fort Ridgely. The 1st notice was posted on this blog and mailed to people at MHS and NCHS in June 2016. See bulleted items below for changes to the site since June 2016. I visited Historic Fort Ridgely several times in May 2017. See below for problems that still exist.

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MHS Scorecard

Minnesota Historical Society Scorecard
January 1, 2017
Updated on May 29, 2017

Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) produces more products related to the 1862 Dakota War than any other organization or individual. Below are counts of incorrect, unbalanced and disrespectful statements in MHS products. The detailed reviews can be found elsewhere on this blog.

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Be Skeptical

Be Skeptical
© December 6, 2016, John LaBatte

Skeptic – “a person who questions or doubts something (such as a claim or statement)”

To date, I have reviewed more than 300 products related to Dakota/White history. These include essays, speeches, websites, exhibits, signs, audio-visual and books. I can definitely conclude that there is much incorrect, unbalanced and disrespectful information out there on this history.

Why is this happening? Read on. Continue reading

Historic Fort Ridgely – Visitors Beware

Historic Fort Ridgely – Visitors Beware
© June 23, 2016, John LaBatte
Updated on July 17, 2016

Fort Ridgely State Park is managed by the Minnesota DNR. Historic Fort Ridgely occupies about 22 acres within the State Park. The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) owns Historical Fort Ridgely and sub-contracts its operation to Nicollet County Historical Society (NCHS). Today, MHS is asking for $34,000,000 from the State Legislature for Historic Fort Snelling. Fort Snelling was never attacked. Historic Fort Ridgely is the most significant historic site in Minnesota. So, how do MHS and NCHS treat Historic Fort Ridgely? Read on.

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What’s up with the Minnesota Humanities Center?

I have recently posted 4 reviews of the Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC) website. These can be found under the “Website” category or by doing a search of this blog on “MHC.”

Considerable time and money went into the MHC website. It contains useful information. However it is so badly laced with incorrect, unbalanced and disrespectful statements that the visitor has to be careful what they use.

I separated the MHC website into 4 reviews:
     Why Treaties Matter
     Dakota/Ojibwe Perspectives
     Bdote Memory Map
     Lesson Plans

In total, the statements I included in my reviews had:
     351 incorrect statements
     34 unbalanced statements
     13 disrespectful statements
A statement is incorrect if it is wrong; or incomplete; or does not apply to all members of the group. A statement is unbalanced if it provides information about one group while corresponding information is not provided for other groups involved. A statement is disrespectful if people are criticized without showing proof. 

Overall, the MHC website is severely unbalanced. A good deal of it is devoted to the Dakota and Ojibwe. This is okay. But, little information is given on other ethnic groups in their settlement of Minnesota, their involvement in the Dakota War of 1862 or what happened to them after the Dakota War.

The MHC website lists two sources of funds:
     1. This work is funded in part by The Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation.
     2. This work is funded with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Why doesn’t the MHC website represent all ethnic groups that were involved in the Dakota War of 1862? Who holds MHC accountable?

For more information, refer to the MHC homepage at http://www.minnesotahumanities.org

A copy of this essay has been sent to David O’Fallon, President of the Minnesota Humanities Center.