Glacial Minnesota Woman Organization

The Glacial Minnesota Woman Organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  A Day of Gathering was held on the 85th anniversary of the discovery of Minnesota Woman, now named Nimuué or Lady of the Lake. Some of the activities at the Day of Gathering on June 18, 2016 included:

•  Unveiling a bronze sculpture of Nimuué
•  Archaeological dig for children
•  Storytelling
•  A walk in the woods of antiquity
•  Live Music
•  Archaeological information and displays
•  Exhibit of Native American artifacts
•  Performances by a Native American drummer, dancer, and cultural interpreter           •  Display of children’s clay sculptures
•  Presentations on the history of the archaeological dig and new information related to Nimuué and the ice age.

The Glacial Minnesota Woman Organization (GMWO) in cooperation with the City of Pelican Rapids received a legacy grant from The Lake Region Arts Council (LRAC) to partially fund Artist Marcella Rose's creation of "Spirit Rising" a 3‘6” bronze sculpture of Nimuué with a pelican at her side for the City of Pelican Rapids.  The sculpture stands to honor and respect the ancient Minnesota Woman and all indigenous people, and offers a message of harmony to our community and visitors alike. The monument was unveiled on the Gathering Day, June 18, 2016, and is on display permanently for the public. 

"This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and  Cultural Heritage fund."

Minnesota Woman Sculpture ‘Sneak Peek’ Event

Saturday, March 19, in Pelican Rapids

A ‘Sneak Peek’ public viewing of a progressing clay sculpture of Nimuué, the Glacial Minnesota Woman, was held from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at the Muddy Moose Restaurant in downtown Pelican Rapids, Minn.  This was the first public showing of the sculpture, which was cast in bronze for permanent display in Pelican Rapids.

Sculpted by area artist Marcella Rose, the 3.5-foot creation is titled ‘Spirit Rising.’  It depicts Rose’s perception of the prehistoric young woman whose remains were found in 1931 about a mile north of Pelican Rapids during construction of what is now U.S. Highway 59.  She is believed to have lived about 20,000 years ago and may represent the oldest archaeological discovery in North America.

‘Spirit Rising’ shows this young woman creating music from within, blowing into a whorl.  She is in communion with a pelican, whose origins in the area go back much further in time.  Nimuué also carries some of the items (such as a turtle carapace and tools) that were found with her.

For More Information about the sculpture contact:

Marcella Rose    (218) 290-4599  or

Who is Nimuué?

Nimuué is the name given to the skeleton of a young woman discovered on June 16, 1931, beneath the center of what eventually would become U.S. Highway 59, located along the east side of Prairie Lake, north of Pelican Rapids, in Otter Tail County, Minnesota.  University of Minnesota archaeologist Dr. A.E. Jenks, who was instrumental in the initial investigations of the skeleton, early on estimated the skeleton’s age to be around 15,000 years.
Analysis of the bones indicated they were mineralized and had turned into phosphate rocks, suggesting the ancient timeline.  While there has been considerable disagreement over the years as to the true age of the bones, it can be stated that Nimuué ranks among the oldest human remains ever found in North America.
From its discovery in 1931 until 1968, the skeleton was referred to as “Minnesota Man.”  In 1976, the name was correctly changed to “Minnesota Woman.”  Recently, members of the Glacial Minnesota Woman Organization bestowed upon her the name “Nimuué” — “Lady of the Lake.”
Following the 1931 excavation, her bones were taken to the University of Minnesota.   They later were placed on display at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul for 10 years prior to being retired from view.  In 1999, in response to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Minnesota Woman’s bones were repatriated by the Dakota tribe to a site in South Dakota.

Where and How Was She Discovered?

In 1929, construction began on 28 miles of gravel road between Pelican Rapids and Detroit Lakes, MN.  More than nine feet of soil were removed from a hill near Prairie Lake, a short distance north of Pelican Rapids.  During the winter of 1930/1931 frost boils appeared in the road.  Road crews began repairing the road surface.

  As a grader was removing the frost boil, a crew member noticed a "white shimmering glow."  He dug into the clay with his bare hands and uncovered a skull and with the help of other workers uncovered a human skeleton.  The remains and artifacts found with the skeleton were removed to the University of Minnesota where they were eventually studied by Dr. Albert E. Jenks, the chairman of the Department of Anthropology.

What is the Glacial Minnesota Woman Organization?

The organization was formed in 2014 to study the information known about Minnesota Woman and to expand awareness about her and her story.  Committees are in place to work in the areas of education, historical research, geological studies, the monument site, public relations, and the effect of the glacial activity on the land and area where she was discovered.