This Lake Near Duluth Has an Incredibly Racist Name
The State of Minnesota has changed many offensive lake names over the years, but some still remain, like this one about an hour from Duluth.
Located about 70 miles west of Duluth, about a 1-hour 20-minute drive, in Aitkin County sits a little 191-acre lake, no more than 20-feet deep, that has the highly offensive and racist name of Blackface Lake.
The name was likely given by early loggers or the first settlers, and it still remains to this day. But changing the name isn't as easy as someone at the state or country level just submitting paperwork, it has to go through a lengthy process, and it's one that is started locally.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the government body in charge of this process for the state, "Fifteen or more voters registered in that county must petition the county board of commissioners for a public hearing. If the county board agrees on the proposed name, the board adopts a resolution in support of the name."
Provided that it's passed, the proposal would go to the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources for approval, and from there is would go to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names for consideration on a federal level. If anyone in Aikin County is interested in starting the process, here is the information and necessary paperwork.
The most notable of these name changes happened in Minneapolis in 2015 when Lake Calhoun was renamed to Bde Maka Ska. It turns out that former Vice President John Calhoun was a supporter of slavery, so the residents of Hennepin County decided to give the lake back its original Native American name.
It's probably time to start the process of changing Blackface Lake to something non-offensive, so the lake is welcoming to all. Your move residents of Aikin County, will at least 15 of you step up and take action?