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From the exhibit, a canoe, paddle, and creation stories from the Asabiikone-zaa'igan (The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa). Image by Laura Mazuch, UMN Printing Services.

Why Canoes? An Exhibit at the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Gallery

Minnesotans love boats, and canoes are a particular favorite. The state has the highest per capita rate of recreational boat ownership in the nation, according to the Department of Natural Resources.[1] Consequently, the current exhibit, Why Canoes? Capacious Vessels and Indigenous Future of Minnesota’s Peoples and Places, at the Northrop Gallery should find an interested audience. The exhibit reflects the desire of three Indigenous peoples—Dakota, Anishinaabe, and Micronesian—to revitalize their canoe-building traditions, and to pass them on to the next generation.

Wild rice and the 1833 Survey of Menominee’s Reservation. Image by Elan Pochedley.

Restorative Cartography of the Theakiki Region: Mapping Potawatomi Presences in Indiana

This article explores what decolonization can consist of—and be envisioned as—when we recognize how settler colonial governance, policies, industries, and structures have affected both Indigenous peoples and nonhuman relatives within their respective homelands. I assert that analyses of settler colonialism must address the environmental dislocations and degradations experienced by both humans and nonhumans.

Climate Land Leaders are learning that soil health is needed for healthy waters. Image courtesy of Sharing Our Roots.

Creating Our Water Futures

This issue of Open Rivers invites us all to envision the kind of future we hope to have with water. It encourages us to see the possibilities. By imagining the relationships we want with water, imagining the water conditions we want to see in our future, we begin to see both the challenges and potentials in our present and the steps necessary to move us to these desired and desirable water conditions…

Illustration of Nokomis (Grandmother) appearing over a fire.Image courtesy of Nedahness Greene.

On Madweyaashkaa: Waves Can Be Heard with Moira Villiard

In February 2021, artist Moira Villiard debuted her installation, Madweyaashkaa: Waves Can Be Heard as the fourth installment of the Illuminate the Lock series at the closed Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On three chilly February evenings, 2,500 people walked through the snow on top of Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam to watch what Villiard calls an “animated video collage” projected on the 49-by-400-foot concrete walls of the no-longer-functioning lock.

Detail from original. Between the east and west banks of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, as taken from the Washington Avenue Bridge. Image courtesy of Vicente M. Diaz.

Navigating Indigenous Futures Gallery

… the River is also a place upon and a relationship with whom we might also build relations of kinship and reciprocity with Dakota and Ojibwe communities in the shared hopes of together building new / old ways of knowing and being for a more just future, one that flows from renewing proper relations in decidedly Indigenous terms.

President Gabel and project members and community representatives take “a spin” aboard the waa herak NOAA’s Arc. From front to back: Mat Pendleton, Lower Sioux Community, Indigenous Futures Project; Eric Chapman, Lac du Flambeau Tribal Council member, Manoomin Project; President Gabel; Dockry, Manoomin Project; and Diaz, Indigenous Futures Project.

Navigating Indigenous Futures with the Mississippi River

Relationalities, or the web of interconnected relations of kinship and ethical regard among Indigenous people, land, water, and sky scapes, include the agential or personhood status of otherwise non-human “natural” elements, their interconnectivity that occurs at multiple and simultaneous temporal scales and logics, and the need for intellectual and social agility and nimbleness to keep apace with, in our case, “water” and Indigenous knowledge about water and interconnected relationships.

Lake Itasca. Image courtesy of Sara Černe.

Indigenizing Environmental Thinking

we asked people to respond to the following prompt: As we face environmental challenges, such as climate change, extraction economies, (over)development, loss of habitats and ecosystems, pollution, and other harms, what might Indigenous ways of knowing offer to address these global concerns? How might Indigenizing and/or decolonizing our methodologies transform higher education teaching and research?