Mississippi River Basin

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Reminiscent of graffiti on Alcatraz Island, Indian Land is written across a concrete divider. Dividers were used as barricades to stop water protectors nearing construction of the DAPL pipeline. Image courtesy of Alex Flett.

The Political Binds of Oil versus Tribes

In late 2018, while researching the connections between environmental justice and Indigenous womxn’s activism[1], I was invited to story about how water might respond to environmental injustice and racism. In preparation, I thought about how the lands and peoples to which I belong struggle against “slow violence” brought on by the toxic effects of uranium contamination and nuclear pollution…

Students in the Augsburg River Semester Program at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, Lake Itasca, South Clearwater, MN. Image courtesy of river_semester Instagram.

What we Learned from the River

What happens when you leave the confines of the classroom, step away from the whiteboards, data projectors, and PowerPoints, and move into the richness of the world itself? In August 2015, a group 17 students, staff, and faculty from Augsburg College loaded four 24-foot voyageur canoes with their gear and started paddling down the Mississippi River as part of the first River Semester.

Small bay on Lake Oahe on the Missouri River. By Argyleist, via Flickr, CC-BY-2.0.

Treaties & Territory: Resource Struggles and the Legal Foundations of the U.S./American Indian Relationship

…A movement has grown at Standing Rock, inspiring the largest gathering of American Indian tribes in over a century. In attempting to understand this historical contestation over water resources and tribal sovereignty, the question of treaty rights has been on the lips of Standing Rock water protectors, as well as scholars, community leaders, politicians, and commentators.