From the blog

 

Some of the Twin Cities’ most treasured waters - Lake Minnetonka, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, Minnehaha Creek and Minnehaha Falls - have been the foundation of life in here for centuries. The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), has been protecting these resources and other waters within its boundaries for the past 50 years. Throughout this anniversary year of the MCWD, we'll will be using this space to explore some of the interesting history of the watershed. This month we’ll focus on the early history of the area.

Humans first arrived here sometime after the last ice age. Eventually they began altering the landscape and laid out villages, trails, and plots for crops, typically next to large water bodies. They also built hundreds of earth burial mounds, concentrated especially on the west end of Lake Minnetonka.

The word “Mini Haha,” meaning “curling water” or “the waterfall” comes from the Dakota. The creek itself they called “Wakpa Cistinna,” meaning “little river.” Other Dakota names for water bodies in the area included Mde Maka Ska (White Earth Lake) for Lake Calhoun, Mde Unma (Other Lake)...

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