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UMinn accused of ‘genocide,’ should pay Native American reparations: report

Every academic department would be forced to incorporate ‘Indigenous’ knowledge into the curriculum, under report recommendations

The University of Minnesota is guilty of “genocide” of Native Americans and should atone for it with reparations forever and the return of land.

The “Towards Recognition and University Tribal-Healing Project,” shortened to “TRUTH Project,” released a 215-page report that accused the Big Ten university of “persistent, systemic mistreatment of Indigenous peoples.”

The university told The College Fix via email that it is committed to “rebuilding and strengthening relationships with Tribal Nations and Native Peoples,” in response to the release of the report. It did not elaborate any further on the report’s findings.

“The Founding Board of Regents committed genocide and ethnic cleansing of Indigenous peoples for financial gain, using the institution as a shell corporation through which to launder lands and resources,” the report alleged.

The university also “failed to adequately teach the correct history of this land, resulting in the perpetuation of a lack of knowledge of Tribal sovereignty, Indigenous rights, and benefits of diverse environments among UMN graduates and Regents alike.”

“The Board of Regents must commit to annual review and rematriation of Indigenous lands,” the report demanded as one way to rectify the situation. The university must also “commit to perpetual reparations to Indigenous peoples” and provide free tuition to “all Indigenous peoples and descendants regardless of state of residence.”

The term “rematriation” instead of “repatriation” is purposeful.

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“Rematriation is Indigenous women-led work to restore sacred relationships between Indigenous people and our ancestral land, honoring our matrilineal societies, and in opposition of patriarchal violence and dynamics,” one Native American group explains.

This term could be one source of discussion in future physics or mathematics classes, as the report suggested that every single degree program across the university system should incorporate “Indigenous curriculum requirements.”

Shannon Geshick, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council which sponsored the report, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Fix.

Another representative of the university said it would be up to the faculty to incorporate “Indigenous curriculum requirements.”

“Native Americans, both historically and contemporary, practiced these disciplines” Karen Diver told The Fix when asked for specific ways “Indigenous” knowledge would be incorporated into physics, math and chemistry. “It would be up to individual faculty to determine how to include this..in their teaching,” the senior adviser to the university president said via email on June 19.

She said free tuition for Native Americans is already covered by a new state law.

“The UM is undertaking discussions about what could potentially be next steps, which would then be discussed with Tribes,” Diver said, when asked what the next part in the process is for implementing the proposals.

The university is currently considering ways to return land to at least one tribe.

School officials want to return nearly 3,500 acres of land to the Fond du Lac Band, a Chippewa tribe, following a decision by the university president Joan Gabel.

The decision, approved at a February board meeting, means that the Cloquet Forestry Center’s 3,391 acres could be returned to the tribe. The land could be worth around $35 million, based on the current value of property in the same area, as previously reported by The Fix.

President Joan Gabel praised her own efforts as “historic.”

“It represents a deep and meaningful step in our commitment through the strategic plan to building strong relationships with all of our tribal nations and indigenous communities,” Gabel said at the February meeting. The university must get approval from the state first.

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Jeremy Hill is a student at Boyce College studying political science. He is involved in Young Americans for Freedom and Students for Life of America. He is a state captain for SFLA and a field representative for the Family Foundation of Virginia.