New Exhibit Celebrates the Women of the Big Lake

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post

(Mille Lacs, MN) — May 28th, 2022 — The Minnesota Historical Society is pleased to announce a new exhibit Misi-zagaa’iganii-ikwewag Women of the Big Lake, opening May 28 at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post. The exhibit celebrates and commemorates the lives, achievements and legacies of Mille Lacs Band members Margaret Hill, Maude Kegg, Cheryl Minnema and Batiste Sam.

Women of the Big Lake is a story of adaptation and resilience. Through their work and dedication, these four remarkable women retained cultural practices and values in the face of adversity, while staying connected to their homeland. Through their arts, writings and teachings, their cultural knowledge will be passed onto future generations of Anishinaabeg.

“Having the privilege of learning more about these women and their work with the Minnesota Historical Society, I am beyond thrilled to be able to share their stories and their beautiful work in their home community of Mille Lacs and with site visitors,” said Rita Walaszek Arndt, White Earth Ojibwe, collections outreach specialist for Native American Initiatives at the Minnesota Historical Society. “Our grandmas, moms and aunts have influenced us in many ways, and this exhibit showcases the impact Anishinaabe women have in our communities.”

Memorial Weekend Powwow
On Monday, May 30, from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m, the Mille Lacs Band and the Mille Lacs Band Veterans Group will host a Memorial Weekend Powwow at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post to honor veterans past and present. Visitors are invited to experience firsthand the excitement and joy of a contemporary powwow and tour the Women of the Big Lake exhibit. The powwow is free, museum admission is required to view Women of the Big Lake.

Exhibit Opening
Come check out the exhibit and enjoy breakfast cooked by museum staff on Friday, June 3rd from 8-10 a.m. Admission is free and is open to the public.

Some exhibit content is presented in both English and Ojibwe.

Exhibit Support
Women of the Big Lake at the Minnesota History Center is made possible in part by the Legacy Amendment through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

Open May 28-Oct. 31, Wednesday – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed July 4.

Health and Safety
Protocols designed to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 can be viewed on the health and safety procedures page of each site’s website, which can be found on our visit page. Masks are encouraged while indoors at all MNHS sites and museums. For more information, visit our website at

About the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
The Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post includes a museum dedicated to the history of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a fully restored 1930s trading post with art and related merchandise made by local and national Native artists. The site is located on U.S. Highway 169 on the southwest shore of Lake Mille Lacs. For more information, visit

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at

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