Color image of demonstrators gathering in St. Paul to show their support for immigrants’ and immigrant-workers’ rights, 2006. Photographed by Mary Turk.

Pro-immigration Rally

Demonstrators gather in St. Paul to show their support for immigrants’ and immigrant-workers’ rights, 2006. Photographed by Mary Turk.

How Latinos Have Shaped the State

Minnesotanos: Latino Journeys in Minnesota

Since the early 1900s, Latinos have been a productive and essential part of Minnesota. Most of the earliest Minnesotanos were migrant farm workers from Mexico or Texas and faced obstacles to first-class citizenship that are still being addressed. They overcame the instability associated with migratory work by establishing stable communities in the cities and towns of Minnesota. Latinos faced, and still face, discrimination—both racial and the kinds common to all immigrants and migrants.

Black and white photograph of three generations of Hmong women (Mao Thao Yang, Mai Vang Thao, and Bo Thao), 1999.

Three generations of Hmong women (Mao Thao Yang, Mai Vang Thao, and Bo Thao)

Three generations of Hmong women (Mao Thao Yang, Mai Vang Thao, and Bo Thao), 1999.

Color image of a corrugated cardboard box used as a packing carton by Blia Cha Thao and family—Hmong refugees who moved from Thailand to Minnesota in 1993.

Packing carton used by Hmong refugees

Corrugated cardboard box used as a packing carton by Blia Cha Thao and family—Hmong refugees who moved from Thailand to Minnesota in 1993.

How the Hmong Have Shaped the State

Hmong and Hmong Americans in Minnesota

The Hmong first arrived in Minnesota in late 1975, after the communist seizure of power in Indochina. They faced multiple barriers as refugees from a war-torn country, but with the help of generous sponsors, have managed to thrive in the Twin Cities area, a region they now claim as home. Today, many Hmong promote the economic, social, and political diversity of the state.

Hmong New Year, St. Paul

The Hmong New Year in St. Paul is a unique annual event encapsulated into a weekend celebration held at the end of November. Since 1977, Hmong people have gathered in the city to meet, eat, celebrate the harvest, and enjoy cultural performances. Though the event is rooted in the agricultural history of the Hmong people and their religious traditions, it has found a new expression in St. Paul—the home of one of the largest communities of Hmong outside Southeast Asia.

Mesabi Iron Range Strike, 1916

During the summer of 1916, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) coordinated a strike of iron ore miners on the Mesabi Iron Range. The strikers fought for higher wages, an eight-hour workday, and workplace reform. Although the strike failed, it was one of the largest labor conflicts in Minnesota history.

Black and white photograph of a Sons of Italy Fourth of July float, Hibbing, 1930.

Sons of Italy Fourth of July float

Sons of Italy Fourth of July float, Hibbing, 1930.

Black and white photograph of Mr. and Mrs. John Kleimola, Mt. Iron, 1930.

Mr. and Mrs. John Kleimola, Mt. Iron

Mr. and Mrs. John Kleimola, Mt. Iron, 1930.

Black and white photograph of Finnish immigrant Mary Harju Paavola, 1925.

Mary Harju Paavola

Finnish immigrant Mary Harju Paavola, 1925.

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