Congratulations to Lower Phalen Creek Project, which has now raised $5.3M of its $7.7M goal to build the Wakan Tipi Center at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.

The 9,000 square foot building will feature a reception area, classrooms, permanent and temporary exhibit space, a community gathering area and gallery space to showcase and expand the value of the sanctuary as a place for cultural healing, life-long learning and inspiration.

This gathering place, as part of the Great River Passage Initiative, will offer important and unique educational opportunities to learn about the Indigenous Peoples of Minnesota, our shared histories, and current urban ecology. With dramatic views of the river and downtown, the area offers spectacular opportunities for hiking and biking a stunning network of Mississippi River Corridor trails.

Wakáŋ Tipi means “Dwelling Place of the Sacred” in the Dakota language. This is the traditional name for the cave in Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary now known to many as “Carvers Cave.” Dakota oral history tells of the nature of the sacred beings who dwell within the cave.  The ancient Petroglyphs which once existed on the walls of the cave that honored these spirits were erased by settlers and later users of the cave.