The Dakota (Sioux) homeland Mni Sóta Maķoce means “land where the waters reflect the clouds.” Nicknamed “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minnesota really has almost 12,000 inland basins covering at least 10 acres, but across the state, they are mostly rural and rather diverse. Deep, oligotrophic waters are typical in northeastern boreal forests near Superior, the world’s largest areal, freshwater lake. Shallow, hypereutrophic lakes predominate in southwestern agricultural plains.
With about 30 lakes and 700,000 residents within 64 square miles, the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul reflect some of the challenges of managing Minnesota’s urban landscapes. Generations of Dakota (Sioux) called the area’s largest and deepest lake Bdé Makhá Ská, but since the 1820s, it had been called Lake Calhoun. In 2018, the federal government officially restored the name, but the Minnesota Court of Appeals in 2019 reversed the state’s official designation of the indigenous name. Positioned in this nexus between Minnesota’s rural-urban diversities and past-future legacies, Minneapolis hosts the 2020 symposium that focuses on NALMS’ 40 years of experience. The Program Committee hopes this symposium not only reflects with 20/20 hindsight, but also predicts with 20/20 foresight!