UMM Sculpture 02 Jul 18

A new sculpture by Duane Goodwin, Anishinaabe, and commissioned by Puncky ’73 and Mary Soehren Heppner ’76 will become a defining element of the University of Minnesota, Morris campus, adding to it’s sense of place and celebrating the “strength, resilience, compassion, and heart of the indigenous peoples” here.  

“The sculpture symbolizes the [journey] of the Native American, from a traditional people to an assimilated, but still proud people,” writes Goodwin in an artist statement.  “We have endured colonization, retaining our most valued traditions—our identity, language, ceremonies, and arts.”  

It is the Heppners’ hope that the sculpture will promote awareness of the history surrounding Morris and the campus.  They believe the sculpture can also foster a sense of belonging that will more fully ground students and contribute to their future success.  

“Goodwin’s cultural background and choice of native stone from a Minnesota quarry all contribute to the sense of place we hoped the sculpture would achieve,” the Heppners wrote in a statement.  

Work on campus began on Friday, June 29, with a blessing ceremony on the site.  Goodwin was joined by elders Dr. Paul Day, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe; Bob Jourdain, Nickickousiminicaning First Nation; and John Romer, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.  

Goodwin also acknowledges the late Anna Gibbs, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, who provided spiritual guidance throughout his artist’s journey.  The sculpture will be dedicated this fall.