Matthew Beckman contributes to Star Tribune commentary

Minneapolis Star TribuneMatthew Beckman, assistant professor of biology, joined his research collaborators Grant Two Bulls and Amy Myrbo in writing a commentary for the Star Tribune that voiced support for renaming Minneapolis’ Lake Calhoun. As the commentary noted, recent events have initiated a debate regarding whether the lake should return to its original name in the Dakota language: Mde Maka Ska.

Beckman, Two Bulls, and Myrbo conducted research during summer 2014 that involved taking a core sample of lake sediment and studying its pollen content as a way to examine the ecological record of an early-19th-century Dakota agricultural village on its shore. This geological study of the lake showed a long history of Native American natural resource stewardship that extended centuries before the arrival of surveyors backed by John C. Calhoun, the lake’s namesake.

Visit the Star Tribune website to read, “Mde Maka Ska: A Minnesota name for a Minnesota lake.”

Augsburg professor Matthew Beckman mentors gifted student

ictmn-web-logo-200x90Matthew Beckman, assistant professor of biology at Augsburg College, was mentioned in an Indian Country Today article about a student whom he advises, Grant Two Bulls.

Two Bulls is a high school senior at Breck School and has been conducting scientific research in the Lake Calhoun area – the previous location of the Mdewakanton Dakota village – to learn more about his Native American heritage. The endeavor, Beckman says, has been nothing short of remarkable.

“Here’s a high school senior doing pretty high-level research and then taking that data and speaking to national audiences about it in a really impressive way,” Beckman said in an interview.

To read more on Beckman and Two Bulls, visit the Indian Country Today news site.