The Hennepin County Board on Tuesday gave final approval as expected to changing the name of Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis' largest lake, back to its original Dakota name.
The board voted 4-3 to change the name to Bde Maka Ska (pronounced beh-DAY mah-KAH skah), meaning White Earth Lake. It ratified a decision made last week, on the same vote, by a committee of the board.
The proposed change now goes to state and federal agencies, which must approve it before it becomes official.
Board Chairwoman Jan Callison again offered an amendment to adopt the singular name of Lake Calhoun-Bde Maka Ska, The U.S. Board of Geographic Names, which has the final say, sent a letter saying that dual names for a lake wasn't permitted. The board voted down the amendment.
Commissioners Debbie Goettel, Marion Greene, Linda Higgins and Peter McLaughlin voted for the name change, while Callison, Jeff Johnson and Mike Opat voted against it.
McLaughlin, who had recommended Bde Maka Ska to the board, said the action would demonstrate the county's leadership in trying to build a stronger community.
"It's a positive contribution to the county," he said.
In May, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board unanimously approved the name Bde Maka Ska. That vote came after nearly two years of debate and public input.
American Indians who once lived along the lake called it Bde Maka Ska. But federal surveyors in the early 1800s named the lake after U.S. Secretary of War John Calhoun, who had sent them to the area to prepare for Fort Snelling's construction.
Calhoun, who went on to become vice president and a U.S. senator from South Carolina, was an outspoken supporter of slavery. For that reason, a petition with hundreds of signatures prompted the Minneapolis Park Board in 2015 to explore changing the name of the lake.
Opponents have argued that the Calhoun name is valuable to the city despite the history behind it. More than 300 residents along the lake signed a petition in September saying they didn't support the change.
Earlier this month, a group called "Save Lake Calhoun" ran a half-page ad in the Star Tribune urging residents to lobby their commissioners to keep the Calhoun name.
"For as long as there's been a Minneapolis, there's been a Lake Calhoun," the ad said.