Public Education as Reparative Justice in two Settler Colonial Contexts (Open Global Rights)

Canada convened a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) between 2008 and 2015, resulting in a national apology to Indigenous peoples and calls for systemic reforms, including education. The TRC sparked a national conversation bringing awareness, resources, and training opportunities to educators in Manitoba. While no such national efforts have taken place in the United States, educational reforms have been initiated at the state and municipal levels. Specific initiatives (exhibits, reinterpretation of sites, and renaming of places) have raised visibility to Minnesota’s Indigenous histories and present realities.

This project seeks to identify what educational best practices can be drawn from two contexts in which the State is differently invested in advancing the goals of reparative justice. We target two regions with similar histories of Indigenous dispossession and settlement during the 19th century: Minnesota and Manitoba. Both regions have similar demographics regarding ethnic diversity, Indigenous populations (for instance, Ojibwe and Dakota are both in Minnesota and Manitoba), urban-rural divide, and immigration trends. Furthermore, Minneapolis and Winnipeg, cities with larger urban Indigenous populations, have similar histories of Indigenous resistance and activism, such as the American Indian Movement, founded in Minneapolis, and contemporary human rights issues, such as the disproportionately high numbers of murdered and missing Indigenous girls and women in these areas.

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