The Bois Forte Heritage Center & Cultural Museum started as the idea of Phyllis Boshey, an elder and Tribal Council Member. People were inquiring about giving or wanted to donate historic items made by Bois Forte Band members and there wasn’t any place to display them. Her idea of a Museum resonated with others and she was able to convince the rest of the Tribal Council of its merits. Having a concept and reaching the goal took 10 years and a lot of work, but in 2001 the Bois Forte Heritage Center & Cultural Museum was erected, and on June 1st, 2002, the Heritage Center opened to the public.
The history of the Bois Forte Band starts on the East Coast near the mouth of the St. Laurence River. An elder received a prophecy to gather all Anishinabe together and journey westward around the Great Lakes with several stopping points along the way. When the Band reached the southwestern end of Lake Superior they traveled up the St Louis River and inland to where we are today. The journey took about 500 years.
Response to The Bois Forte Heritage Center & Cultural Museum has been very positive. Staff often hear how meaningful and worthwhile is a visit to the museum. Our museum received a Media Award from the National Association for interpretation in 2003. In 2007, we were recognized through a National Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We are fast gaining recognition and becoming an integral part of a Northern Minnesota visit and destination.
Hover over the logo below to learn about the symbolism of each section. You may also read the full logo concept from Rosemary Berens.
“The turtle, which is shadowed, represents the earth or turtle island on which we live. The claws are the four directions. The red circle is the red road on which we travel and the foot prints go from east to west, the same way we dance at our pow-wow, signifying how far we’ve come and how far we still must go in the never ending circle of life. There are twelve small flowers [that] signify the twelve moons. The center flower shows that we are woodland people and also is turned to the west to honor those who have gone on before us. The colors red, white, yellow, and black are for the four races while the green and blue are the earth and sky.”
Rosemary Berens, Bois Forte
Bois Forte Heritage Center & Cultural Museum
Phone: 218.753.6017 | Address: 1500 Bois Forte Road, Tower, MN 55790
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm
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