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Cook County Historical Alliance

In February 2022, four of the Historical Societies in Cook County (Schroeder Area Historical Society (SAHS), Tofte Historical Society (THS), Cook County Historical Soci­ety (CCHS), and the Gunflint Trail Historical Society (GTHS)) entered into a planning pro­cess to form an Alliance.

A study was planned and began in August 2022 and completed in May 2023 – officially launching the Cook County Historical Alli­ance (CCHA). The entire process was facil­itated by Superior Design + Planning (SDP) and funded through a grant from the Minne­sota Historical Society Heritage Partnership Program awarded to SAHS.

The study brought the partners through five phases to learn how to work more effective­ly together, cooperate to support and help all partners grow, take collective action to solve current shortcomings, maintain their individ­ual organizational identities, and sustainably fulfill their missions. The group established their vision of collaboratively telling the his­tory of the land, its people, cultures, and their interactions over time to help us understand how it shapes, inspires, and informs us.

Together, the partners identified shared cul­tural values: the power of multiple stories; community; equity; equitable allocation of human and financial resources; nimbleness; individual identity; consensus; and efficient and effective collaborations.

Moving forward each partner expressed a desire to connect more broadly to environ­mental and cultural changes, as well as to younger generations. Additionally, other en­tities have been invited to join the CCHA to broaden the stories representing our region. CCHA partners are committed to working together to build on collaborative activities while having the flexibility for each entity to commit at different levels. The work of the CCHA will create a stronger united presence capable of promoting a richer view of Cook County’s cultural landscape.

A new website for the Alliance is in the works and CCHA is planning a collaborative storytelling event for the fall to be held at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts on October 14.

This publication was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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