Daily Planet: 'Saving Sacred Land' in Minnesota
"When neighbors, environmental activists, and Native Americans stood together to stop the re-route of Highway 55 through Minnehaha Park in 1997-99, ultimately making a permanent encampment for a year and a half, Ann Follett was there—both as a participant and as an observer. Ultimately, the Minneapolis filmmaker realized she had a job to do.

“When I came to it as a story was when I was there watching trees [being] cut down,” she said in a KFAI interview. “It was a visceral experience. Before, it was ‘this is wrong.’ It was an environmental justice issue. But when I could hear the machines ripping away the trees and people singing, that’s when I felt ‘this story has to be told!’ And I didn’t see anyone telling it.”

The result is an extraordinary documentary, Stop the Re-Route: Saving Sacred Land. The film is screening on March 21 at the Walker Art Center, closing the Women With Vision Film Festival.

Plans to drive Highway 55 through acres of urban green space, destroying 160 houses and risking Coldwater Spring, began in the late 1950s. Public input was never really sought by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDot), since tens of millions of dollars had already been given in contracts to private firms."

Get the Story:
Highway 55 revisited: When the bulldozers came to Minnehaha Park (The Twin Cities Daily Planet 3/20)