May 16, 2024 


Liz McDonald    
651-266-6367 (p) 
612-505-6171 (c)       


Clare Carroll 




Wakan Tipi Awanyankapi, City of Saint Paul and Community Partners to Celebrate the Construction Kick-Off of the Wakan Tipi Center  


Members of the media are invited to attend the celebratory kick-off event at the site of the future Wakan Tipi Center at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary 



Wakan Tipi Awanyankapi, the City of Saint Paul and community partners will join together on Mon., May 20 at 11:30 a.m. to celebrate the construction kick-off of the Wakan Tipi Center, a Native-led cultural and environmental interpretive center located on the west end of Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, a 27-acre nature preserve east of downtown Saint Paul.  

Named Wakan Tipi Center to honor the significance of Wakan Tipi Cave as a Dakota sacred site, the mission of Wakan Tipi Center is to serve as an intergenerational gathering place that honors Wakan Tipi and the maḳa paha (burial mounds) as Daḳota sacred sites. The building will feature an exhibit hall, classrooms, ceremony space, a community gathering area, a teaching kitchen, and teaching gardens to showcase and expand the value of the sanctuary as a place for cultural healing, life-long learning, and inspiration. 

The Wakan Tipi Center is anticipated to open in 2025. More details on the project can be found at 


The program includes the following: 

  • Songs by Imnízaska Singers  
  • Invocation by Jerry Dearly 
  • Remarks from:  
  • Maggie Lorenz, Wakan Tipi Awanyankapi Executive Director  
  • Shelley Buck, Wakan Tipi Awanyankapi Vice Chair  
  • Sam Olbekson, Architect for Wakan Tipi Center, Full Circle Indigenous Planning and Design 
  • Andy Rodriguez, Director of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation  
  • Melvin Carter, Saint Paul Mayor  
  • Cheniqua Johnson, City Councilmember 
  • Mai Chong Xiong, Ramsey County Commissioner 
  • Dr. Kate Beane, Wakan Tipi Awanyankapi Board Chair 


WHEN: Mon., May 20 at 11:30 a.m.   

WHERE: Wakan Tipi Center at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, 590 4th Street East, Saint Paul, MN, 55106 


About Saint Paul Parks and Recreation    

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is a nationally accredited and gold medal award-winning organization that manages 184 parks and open spaces, AZA-accredited Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, 26 city-operated recreation centers, more than 120 miles of trails, an indoor and two outdoor aquatic facilities, a public beach, a variety of premium sports facilities, municipal golf courses, and Great River Passage – which is the new identity for all proposed public development along Saint Paul’s more than 17 miles of Mississippi riverfront. For more information about Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, visit  


Last Edited: May 17, 2024