top of page

“Why Treaties Matter” Program – Minnesota

Minnesota Humanities Center








Award Floor:



Match Required?




Entity Types:

Nonprofits, , Nonprofit organizations (with 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor that holds 501(c)(3) status), not-for-profit entities, tribal nations, and state/municipal public agencies such as K-12 schools, colleges/universities, or libraries are eligible to apply. All organizations must be based in Minnesota, in good standing with the IRS, and up to date on reporting and state requirements for any funds previously awarded by the Minnesota Humanities Center.
Note: In good standing with the IRS means that the organization has completed all reporting requirements and can therefore receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.
For more information, visit MHC.




Source Type:


“Why Treaties Matter” began when tribes residing in Minnesota approved a partnership between the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
They created the exhibit through a community-based approach. Since its inception, the knowledge, insight, and perspective of tribal members have been the exhibit’s foundation. From this foundation emerged a vehicle for Dakota and Ojibwe individuals and communities to tell their own stories of sovereignty, adaptability, and sustainability.
Funding support: The “Why Treaties Matter” partners seek applications from potential host communities interested in utilizing the exhibit in two different ways:
Community-engaged host site—These host sites develop public programming and/or interpretive or educational resources to complement their hosting of the exhibit with Dakota and/or Ojibwe scholars, cultural knowledge bearers, and/or community members. These scholars, cultural knowledge bearers, and/or community members may already work for your organization and/or be a part of your community. Or, your organization may choose to work with these people or organizations specifically in support of your hosting of “Why Treaties Matter.” Community-engaged host sites may receive contracts of up to $2,000 with the Minnesota Humanities Center to offset project costs. MHC will give preference to community-engaged host site applicants over general host site applicants.

See what you would be responsible for and what MHC and its partners will provide.
See what you would be responsible for and what MHC and its partners will provide.
General host site—These host sites share the exhibit with their audiences but don’t have the capacity to develop public programming or interpretive or educational resources at this time. MHC will not support general host sites with additional funds. MHC will give preference to community-engaged host site applicants over general host site applicants.
MHC offers a new way to think about future — grounded in the humanities. They collaborate with organizations and people through education, partnerships, and public programs to inspire community conversations, forge deep connections, and illuminate authentic, diverse voices across the state — especially those left out, marginalized, or otherwise absent from education and public awareness.
They help people listen, connect, and understand each other better — because they know isolation and division are dangerous. The Humanities Center’s approach affirms they’re all in this together — using philosophy, literature, civics, history, language, and more.
Communicate, in a meaningful and truthful way, the history of sovereignty and treaties between nations in Minnesota territory (and, later, the state of Minnesota) to educators, students, and the general public.
Improve the amount and quality of teacher instruction about American Indian histories and cultures in the project’s partner school districts.
Center indigenous knowledge and expertise in the hosting of the exhibition and community engagement activities.
Build relationships that will endure beyond the active exhibition period.
At the core of their work is the Absent Narratives Approach™, a values-driven framework for community engagement and collaboration. The four values ask us to put relationships with people at the center of community change-making and to center voices that have been absented. The four core values are:
Learn from and With Multiple Voices
Build and Strengthen Diverse Relationships
Recognize the Inequity (or Dangers) of a Single Story
Amplify Community Solutions for Change

Tired of searching for grants? Consider a Scouting Report.

bottom of page