HCSCC Opens “Ihdago Manipi,” Clay County Sesquicentennial Exhibition

Seth Eastman, "Corn Guarding," "Dakota Encampment," "Dakota Traveling," "Dakota Village," 1849-1855.

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County opens their new major exhibition, “Ihdago Manipi: Clay County at 150,” at the Hjemkomst Center on Friday, September 10.

The HCSCC opens their “Ihdago Manipi: Clay County at 150,” at the Hjemkomst Center on September 10.

The sesquicentennial exhibition explores the dramatic transformations that occurred in the early years of Clay County, including the arrival of railroads, Yankees, and immigrants; the dispossession of indigenous Dakota, Ojibwe, and Métis communities; an agricultural and ecological revolution; and the foundations for the coming 150 years of American life in towns and farms on the edge of the Minnesota prairie.

The exhibition opening follows several years of research and development that coincided with an eventful 18 months for HCSCC. In addition to months of quarantine and multiple museum closures brought by COVID-19, HCSCC also faced the effects of a requirement by the City of Moorhead to vacate the Hjemkomst Center’s Heritage Hall, which resulted in an exhibition redesign and program revisions. However, these delays also allowed for further research and collaboration among the exhibition team, who constructed much of “Ihdago Manipi” online via Zoom and Google Docs and Sheets.

As the title suggests, “Ihdago Manipi” digs into the indigenous chapters of Clay County’s history as a borderland between Dakota and Ojibwe farmlands and hunting grounds and a transportation hub for Métis hunters and traders. HCSCC was aided in this effort by the contributions an advisory committee of indigenous scholars, including Lise Erdrich, Kade Ferris, Gwen Westerman, and Glenn Wasicuna, who worked with the team online. Their participation was financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Culture Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society. Wasicuna also provided the title, which comes from a Dakota phrase, “makoce kin ihdago manipi,” and roughly translates to, “They leave a mark as they come through here.”

“Ihdago Manipi: Clay County at 150” will be on exhibition at the Hjemkomst Center through December 31, 2023.

A brief program, including a digital tour of the exhibition and remarks from the exhibition team, will be shared via Zoom and Facebook Live on Friday, Sept. 10, at 4 p.m.

For more information about the exhibition or accommodations and accessibility, please visit HCSCC’s website at www.hcscconline.org or contact HCSCC Communications Manager Davin Wait at (218) 299-5511, extension 6733, or [email protected].