Thanks, Minnesota! It’s Part of Your Legacy

cross-post from

It’s March 12, 2013, the official release date for Pond Dakota Press’s first book, Northern Slave, Black Dakota by Walt Bachman, and I want to say, “Thanks!” to about 500 thousand people.

Did you know that if you pay sales tax in Minnesota, you helped publish this book?

Legacy Ammendment Logo

In November 2008, Minnesota voters voted, “Yes,” to enact the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution. Each time I’ve had the chance to share this story publicly, people comment that they had no idea, but are glad to know that something they did in private in a voting booth four years ago, and continue to do invisibly every time they pay sales tax, has tangible results.

This is how I framed it for Bachman’s Bloomington Human Rights Commission audience on February 24, 2013:

“I’m so glad so many of you could join us today because the biggest “thanks” we can convey goes out to you. Fully half of the project expenses of producing this book have been funded by you. On November 4, 2008, Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to preserve and enhance some of our state’s most important resources, including history. The resulting amendment to the Minnesota Constitution often referred to as the ‘Legacy Amendment,’ created four funds, one of which is the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. As a result, funding to support the preservation of Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage is now written into our state constitution, administered through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund via the Minnesota Historical Society.

This book is one fruit of your investment. With our Legacy Grants as seed money, we raised the remaining half of the costs to professionally publish this book, an undertaking that was impossible for an organization our size prior to the Legacy Amendment.

Further, the investment of your tax dollars has enabled Pond Dakota Press to make great history accessible to people of all reading abilities. So in about six weeks, Northern Slave Black Dakota will also be available in Large Print, in Braille, in phonetic print for people with dyslexia, in the universally accessible DAISY Talking Book format, and as an electronic book for any e-reader device you own.

Finally, thanks to the generosity of Walt Bachman, who has donated publishing and distribution rights, and customary royalties to the Pond Dakota Heritage Society, all the profits from the sale of Northern Slave, Black Dakota will fund the public history mission of the Society, including its publications initiatives as Pond Dakota Press.”

More than simply say, “Thanks!” we wanted to show it. So we just finished mailing a free copy of Northern Slave, Black Dakota to each region of Minnesota’s statewide library system. So go ahead and ask for the book; your local library will soon be able to fill your request :).

Live outside Minnesota? If you’ve purchased anything in Minnesota since 2009, this is a fruit of your sales-tax investment, too. Your library buys books based in part on patron’s requests. So let your local library know you’d like to read it! You can also check out the great price holding on or click over to the on-line excerpts on and start reading.

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