Monday, Oct 9 marks Indigenous Peoples' Day, which celebrates and honors the rich histories and cultures of Indigenous Americans. In its Land Acknowledgement Statement, the City of Golden Valley recognizes it is built on the ancestral lands of the Dakota people and is accountable for preserving and nurturing its natural resources.
In particular, there is an intricate connection between the Native American community and Bassett Creek. Flowing into Golden Valley from the west and meandering through the city to the east, Bassett Creek, known as Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ, holds a significant place in the hearts of the Dakota people.
Today Bassett Creek faces risks such as runoff and pollution from various sources, including soil, leaves, grass clippings, and pet waste, and pollutants like oil, pesticides, and litter. However, through diligent management efforts, the City and its partners, including the Bassett Creek Watershed Commission (BCWMC) have made strides in improving the condition of Bassett Creek.
Last year the Golden Valley Historical Society hosted a two-part presentation recognizing Bassett Creek's historical significance as a Native American waterway. It featured discussions led by the BCWMC and Dr Kasey Keeler, assistant professor at UW-Madison. Keeler is working on a research project exploring the relationship between Native people and Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ, which reveals a resounding call for stewardship of the watershed.
On Indigenous Peoples' Day, the City of Golden Valley honors the deep connection between the Native American community and Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ. By celebrating the history, culture, and contributions of Indigenous people and actively engaging in the stewardship of the watershed, the City works to ensure Bassett Creek (Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ) continues to thrive for generations to come. To learn how you can help, visit the Water Resources page on the City website.