In an Isanti County newspapar article about a 2008 Wakan Wakpa (Rum River) Canoe Expedition that provided a group of inner-city Dakota boys from Minneapolis and St. Paul an opportunity to paddle the natural artery of their ancestors - an expedition that was sponsored by Healthy Nations, an Eliminating Health Disparities agency of the Minnesota Department - LeMoine LaPointe, director of the Healthy Nations Program at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, is quoted as saying:

"Their 165-mile paddle from Mille Lacs Lake to Minneapolis commemorated many important aspects of Dakota history and culture."

"The Rum, known for centuries as Wakan Wakpa (Holy River), is an important spiritual and cultural artery to the Dakota who, until 1745, lived at Mille Lacs (Mde Wakan) and considered it the center of their world."

"These young people are taking the initiative to scout the length of the river in order for their tribe to become familiar with it, and in so doing, reclaim their tribal legacy."

"Over thousands of years of repeated use of that river Indian people saw something there that was good for them, and infused that into their physical and spiritual health. Knowing and interacting with that river had an enormous positive impact on them."

LaPointe says "it's also important to the health of Native American people that the river be called by its original name."

"Rum is a pollutant, a destructive chemical. It's not a poison river, it's a holy river."

"That river has contributed to the development of successful tribal communities for thousands of years. Recognizing it as Wakan Wakpa, Holy River, reattaches a positive connotation that will be felt in mind, body and spirit in many different ways."

LaPointe says reclaiming the Rum River is important to the health of the Dakota community.