“Minnesota” comes from the Dakota word “Mni Sota Makoce,” which translates to “the land of cloudy waters.” Canoe Rising encourages students and community members alike to pay homage to the land that sustains them by participating in canoe outings, lectures, and more.
Christopher Pexa, assistant professor of English and of American Indian Studies, researches the important role that oral and written histories have played in preserving the culture of the Dakota. His book, "Translated Nation: Rewriting the Dakota Oyate," is scheduled to be released in June by the University of Minnesota Press.
The jingle dress dance is a spiritual healing practice dating back to 1918. Guided by the research efforts of Brenda Child—professor and current chair of the Department of American Studies—an exhibit featuring the evolution of the dress will launch in April 2019. How did this tradition emerge from a story, a dream, and the worst pandemic that the modern world has seen?
Last March, three staff members in the Department of American Indian Studies traveled to Hawai’i to observe their full-immersion schools. Potentially implementing elements from full-immersion programs like those in Hawai’i could help facilitate the necessary efforts toward Dakota and Ojibwe language revitalization.
The Department of American Studies will offer a new program next year that will allow doctoral students to pursue indigenous studies. Karen Ho, associate professor of anthropology, says the American Indian Studies Department hopes to create its own graduate program in the future. “We want to solidify long-standing work that the University has done in this field," Ho says.
Gabriela Spears-Rico and Jessica Lopez Lyman discuss Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, which comes from the Aztec celebration of loved ones who’ve walked on. It’s now a Mexican holiday with customs and traditions that are catching on in the US—but the American version is often more about sugar skull imagery and less about the original intent. What is the holiday is really about and how do you avoid cultural appropriation?
A new online program from the University of Minnesota Language Center began this fall. It provides a way for University of Minnesota-Morris students to enroll in language courses taught by Twin Cities instructors that were not previously offered. The program currently offers an intermediate Latin course and a first-year Dakota course.
Carter Meland, a leturer in the Department of American Indian Studies, talks about his first novel, Stories for a Lost Child. The book was one of four finalists for the Minnesota Book Award in the Novel and Short Story category.