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Five students stand around a large traditional ocean fishing boat.

On Purpose: Portrait of American Indian Studies

We call upon our neighbors in the University community and the good people of the state of Minnesota to acknowledge and reflect upon the fact that the University of Minnesota stands on Miní Sóta Makhóčhe, the homelands of the Dakhóta Oyáte. We call upon our neighbors to acknowledge that the river that winds through campus links us to the sacred site of the Dakhóta people’s origin at Bdote, where the Minnesota River joins the Mississippi.
Four faculty standing in front of a photo gallery of previous presidents of the University.

On Purpose: Portrait of Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies

The Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Initiative (RIGS) was established in 2015 to support innovative research, teaching, community-building, and engagement for scholars and students addressing issues on these topics. RIGS is dedicated to bringing faculty and students together to pursue lines of inquiry that challenge systems of power and inequality, assert human dignity, and imagine social transformation.
Portrait of Katherine Beane.

Colonialism to Sovereignty: The Restoration of Bde Maka Ska

In 1829, Dakota leader Mahpiya Wicasta (Cloud Man) led a group of Dakota men on a hunt. The group became trapped in a blizzard for three days, buried under the snow. He later founded an agricultural community on the site, which he called Ḣeyate Otuŋwe, on the shores of a lake that Dakota people today call Bde Maka Ska. Nearly two centuries later, Cloud Man’s great-great grandchildren led the charge to reclaim the lake’s Dakota name, after having long been named after white secessionist John Caldwell Calhoun.” We don’t call it a change, we call it a restoration,” descendant Katherine Beane says when asked about the renaming of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska.