This project interviews historically significant Hmong figures in the community and helps to preserve their memories concerning Hmong culture and village life, the Secret War in Laos, their escape to and life in Thai refugee camps, their migration to the United States, their challenges and rewards in adjusting to life in this country, and their thoughts on life in St. Paul, Minnesota. Visitors to this exhibit will learn about specific St. Paul Hmong history from its cultural beginnings to the present. Local policy-makers, refugee workers, Hmong entrepreneurs, and others have been interviewed in order to help users understand the impact that the war had on the Hmong, and the various ways in which the community of St. Paul has changed as a result of their immigration.
This project preserves a significant aspect of community history and benefits all Minnesotans. It provides people from all backgrounds with a greater understanding of the Hmong’s cultural heritage in the mountains of Laos, their service, bravery and sacrifice during the war, the persecution they suffered at the hands of communist forces in Laos and Vietnam, the pain and drudgery of the refugee camps in Thailand, and the difficult transition they made from the jungles of Laos and Thailand to the urban environment of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Center for Hmong Studies, Concordia University - St. Paul