Waḳaŋ Ṭípi Center Visitor Interpretive Experience Plan

St Paul, MN
The Lower Phalen Creek Project is creating Waḳaŋ Ṭípi Center at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. This cultural and environmental center will interpret the history and cultural significance of the sacred Waḳaŋ Ṭípi cave and surrounding site from a distinctly Dakota perspective. Waḳaŋ Ṭípi Center is being developed through a Dakota-led, community engaged planning process.
Our team collaborated with Lower Phalen Creek Project leadership, staff, and members of its Dakota Steering Committee to develop a Visitor Interpretive Experience Plan (VIEP) for the Waḳaŋ Ṭípi Center. We met in-person at the site and virtually for a series of planning workshops that our team facilitated. Together, we developed the VIEP through a collaborative, iterative process. The project team facilitated an online community open house to gather additional input on the Draft VIEP.
Image courtesy: Lower Phalen Creek Trail
The VIEP communicates a Dakota-centered vision for the Waḳaŋ Ṭípi Center through its structure, concepts, language, and images. The plan provides a framework for creating a visitor experience that connects people with the Sanctuary as a Dakota sacred place and helps them understand it in the context of other places of historical and cultural significance for Dakota people in Saint Paul. The Center will also educate visitors about the Sanctuary’s natural environment, surrounding landscape, and the interrelationships among people, nature, and culture.