Engaged Scholar Critical Community Engagement Roundtable

Fall 2018 Theme: Decolonizing Practices within a Colonial Institution

Co-Sponsored by the Office for Public Engagement and the Department of American Indian Studies

Sept. 11: What is Decolonization?  

What is decolonization? (Neil Cantemaza McKay, Senior Dakota Language Specialist, American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)

Decolonization 101

October 9: Re-Indigenizing Relationships Between Sky & Earth

Jim Rock (Dakota), Program Director of the Marshall W. Alworth, Planetarium at the University of Minnesota Duluth
4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium at the Bell Museum
 
 
November 6: Native Pacific Watercraft in Dakota Water and Skyways: Transindigenous Cultural Revitalization in Rural Southwest Minnesota Communities as Vessel for Decolonizing Academic Practice  
Prof. Vince Diaz, Department of American Indian Studies: Diaz is Pohnpeian (Micronesian), and specializes in traditional voyaging in his home region in the Micronesian region in the Pacific Islands. His research also includes decolonial historiography and global, comparative Indigenous studies.
 
Adam Savariego, Yellow Medicine East High School Community Cultural Liaison, Upper Sioux: Savariego is Dakota from the Pezutazizi Oyate (place where they dig the yellow medicine) or  Upper Sioux Community.  He earned a BA in History from South West Minnesota State University in 2016 and an M.Ed in Youth Development Leadership from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2018.
 
 
Mat Pendleton, Director, Lower Sioux Recreation Center: Mat Pendleton, Wakiyan Waste' "Good Thunder," is an enrolled member of Lower Sioux Indian Community, Cansayapi, "where are they paint the trees red." He is a Bdewakantunwan Dakota of the Oceti Sakowin. He works at Lower Sioux Recreation Center in Morton, MN, as the Recreation Director. He is a proud husband to Jenna Pendleton, Father of four, and foster father of three. His passion is keeping traditional Dakota Art forms of porcupine quillwork, traditional tobacco "Cansasa", and teachings alive.  He is working on reconnecting the youth to the water through canoes and harvesting wild rice.
 
 
December 4: 

Where We Stand: The University of Minnesota and Dakota Treaty Lands

Location: Humphrey School of Public Affairs: 50B

In recent years more people have adopted the practice of acknowledging the indigenous peoples of the places where we stand. The University of Minnesota campus area is often described as "Dakota homeland." But what if this is not just Dakota homeland, but is in fact land that still rightfully, and legally, belongs to the Dakota people? If we acknowledge that, what is then required of us? This session will explore the history of treaties that include campus lands and of federal land grants to the university to locate this institution within the colonization of Minnesota.

Monica Siems McKay (Assistant Director of the Center for Community-Engaged Learning)

Neil Cantemaza McKay (Senior Dakota Language Specialist, American Indian Studies)

Where We Stand: The University of Minnesota and Dakhota Treaty Lands

Spring 2018 Theme: Decolonization and Higher Education Governance

Co-Sponsored by the Office for Public Engagement and the Department of American Indian Studies

All sessions meet from 3:00 to 4:30 in 125 Nolte Center for Continuing Education


“This is not simply a call for the creation of university-community ‘partnerships,’ nor a call for engaging in tourist forms of activist-scholarship, much less a redeployment of more academic conferences - In becoming both participants and students of grassroots research collectives, we enter spaces of struggle and solidarity in the deepest sense possible, generating historically new accounts and practices that can respond locally to colonialism, thus generating spaces of recovery and healing that become the fertile soil for seeds of inquiry and research that are inherently political, ethical, and accountable to the communities that make research possible. And it is thus how we begin to reclaim our research: by first decolonizing the spaces that make research possible, our identities are also transformed...” 

--Zavala, Miguel. (2013). "What do we mean by decolonizing research strategies? Lessons from decolonizing, indigenous research projects in New Zealand and Latin American." Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.55-71.

 

February 6: The American Indian Advisory Council at the University of Minnesota 

Tadd Johnson is Director of the Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) program and Professor in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Professor Johnson has served as a tribal attorney, a tribal court judge, and a tribal administrator.  He has held the positions of staff director and counsel to the Subcommittee on Native American Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives and the  Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission.  He is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Bois Forte Band.  

 

March 6: Iisaaksiichaa Ross Braine (Apsaalooke Nation) is director of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House at the University of Washington, a multi-service learning and gathering space for Native American students, faculty and staff, and the greater UW community.  

 

April 3: University of Saskatchewan Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement Jacqueline Ottmann and Vice-Provost Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Patricia McDougall will lead April's Engaged Scholar Critical Community Engagement Roundtable. The discussion will focus on the University's decolonization initiatives in the areas of curriculum, student support, research and knowledge production, and university governance.

May 1: TBA

 

Fall 2017 Theme: Colonial Roots of Academic Theory

Co-Sponsored by the Office for Public Engagement and the Department of American Indian Studies

September 12:  What is decolonization? (Neil Cantemaza McKay, Senior Dakota Language Specialist, American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)

 

October 3:  Examining the colonial roots of theory in social science:  Anthropology/Archaeology (Katherine Hayes, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)

 

November 7:  Examining the colonial roots of theory in the humanities:  Philosophy (Naomi Scheman, Professor Emerita, Departments of Philosophy and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies)

 

December 5: First, Do No Harm: Colonization and the Weaponization of Medicine (Wicanhpi Iyotan Win Autumn Cavender-Wilson, CPM/LTM)

The process of colonization necessitates the destruction and replacement of every social system of the colonized with those of the colonizer.  During the conquest of the Americas, western medicine was undergoing a revolution, and steps forward frequently came at the expense of Indigenous populations and their respective medical practices.  Examining medical colonization through the lens of obstetrics and gynecology, this presentation will address the ways in which medical experimentation, research, training and practice were, and continue to be, weaponized to manufacture the perinatal health disparities we see in Indigenous populations today, and the ways in which modern medical professionals have become agents of ethnocide, genocide and colonization.  Conversely, we will explore the ways in which medical professionals have the ability to reverse this dynamic, and work towards a more just and equitable system of health care.

The process of colonization necessitates the destruction and replacement of every social system of the colonized with those of the colonizer.  During the conquest of the Americas, western medicine was undergoing a revolution, and steps forward frequently came at the expense of Indigenous populations and their respective medical practices.  Examining medical colonization through the lens of obstetrics and gynecology, this presentation will address the ways in which medical experimentation, research, training and practice were, and continue to be, weaponized to manufacture the perinatal health disparities we see in Indigenous populations today, and the ways in which modern medical professionals have become agents of ethnocide, genocide and colonization.  Conversely, we will explore the ways in which medical professionals have the ability to reverse this dynamic, and work towards a more just and equitable system of health care.

Bio:  Wicanhpi Iyotan Win Autumn Cavender-Wilson is Wahpetunwan Dakota from Pezihutazizi K’api Makoce (Upper Sioux reservation).  The first Dakota midwife to practice in Pezihutazizi since her great-great grandmother was driven out of practice, Autumn has dedicated herself to the revitalization of indigenous midwifery, believing it to be an inherent part of both addressing indigenous/rural perinatal health disparities and to re-establishing indigenous sovereignty.  In addition to midwifery practice, she remains an indigenous language revitalization advocate and a fierce decolonization activist.  She resides and practices near her home community with her husband (an indigenous food sovereignty specialist), and her 2-year-old son, who was born in the first planned home birth in her community in over half a century.

 

All year:  We encourage participants to work with colleagues to form your own group to examine the colonial roots of theories in your discipline.  Seek guidance from a mentor, and share what you have learned with others. Contact Sara Axtell (axtel002@umn.edu) if interested.