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. 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.
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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.
Mapping Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see history and contemporary conditions. It creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together.
In spring 2020, two faculty members from the University of Minnesota Morris each incorporated a book called The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became U.S. Property by Martin Case into their course curricula. The book focuses on demystifying the stories and interconnectedness of the white, male treaty-signers responsible for dispossessing Indigenous peoples of their land. The following article shares their perspectives and reflections on teaching this text.
… 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.
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.
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?