Indigenous Peoples' Day 2023

On Indigenous Peoples' Day, we

  • Honor our Indigenous students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community partners.
  • Celebrate the important teaching, research, creative work, and collaboration that involves and studies Native cultures, history, languages, and issues.
  • Recognize that our University and society have work to do to continue to move toward reconciliation and healing with Tribal Nations.

The TRUTH Report

The Towards Recognition and University-Tribal Healing—TRUTH—project is a Native-organized, Native-led, community-driven research movement that offers multiple recommendations on how the University of Minnesota community can be in better relation with Indigenous peoples.

The Department of American Indian Studies fully endorses the TRUTH Report and calls upon the University community and the public to join us in demanding that the Board of Regents and upper administration take immediate action to stop and repair the University of Minnesota’s historic and ongoing harm that continues to be perpetrated against Dakota, Ojibwe, Ho-Chunk, and other American Indian and Indigenous peoples of this area.

Statement on the TRUTH Report and Demands

Land Acknowledgement

Hau mitákuyepi! (Hello, our fellow creation!)  
Boozhoo indinawemaaganag! (Hello, my relatives!)


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. Our Dakhóta hosts invite us to say “Bdote,” to say “Miní Sóta Makhóčhe,” to acknowledge the Dakhóta Oyate’s sovereignty and their spiritual ownership of this homeland, their place of origin. This sovereignty, this place, and this water is sacred, and the Department of American Indian Studies wants to share this fact with those who may have forgotten that. 

opening lines to the Department of American Indian Studies' "On Purpose" statement, 2018 

Grounded Scholars, Artists & Activists

Meet a few of CLA's Indigenous students, alumni, and faculty members.

“It was so empowering to see a Native woman at the front of the classroom, talking about our culture, history, and identity… When you see yourself reflected in your curriculum and in the instructor at the front of the classroom, everything changes.”

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, class of 2002, speaking about Brenda Child, American studies

Language Revitalization

The Dakota and Ojibwe Language Programs revitalize the knowledge and understanding contained in Minnesota’s indigenous languages. You can be a part of the global indigenous movement to revitalize indigenous languages and culture—because all languages transmit a valuable perspective of the world.

The Dakota and Ojibwe languages, like many other indigenous languages in the US, have become endangered due to the effects of boarding schools and other policies that prohibited their use. In 2009, it was estimated that there were 678 first-language speakers of the Ojibwe language and only five first-language speakers of the Dakota language in Minnesota.

“Language is one of the last things we have left. We were forced off our lands, were forced to give up our traditional lifeways. Language is one of the last things that we’ve been able to hang onto, and at this point, it’s in danger.” 

Mskwaankwad Rice, PhD candidate in linguistics

Learn with us

Did you know that you do not need to be an enrolled student to take our courses? Learn more about getting started with the Ojibwe & Dakota Language Courses Guide and by reviewing the resources below.


Support these languages

You can help ensure that these languages are passed down to future generations.

Make a gift to the Dakota Language Program

Make a gift to the Ojibwe Language Program

Make a gift to the Ojibwe People's Dictionary 

Making an Impact

Across disciplines, Indigenous students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members are engaged in critical work, sharing expertise, and influencing our society.

“We advocated for a name restoration, because why change a name when there already is one? There have been other Native names for the lake, but 'Bde Maka Ska' is a name that has been continually used by our people for the longest amount of time.”

Kate Beane (BA '07 American Indian studies and PhD '14, American studies)



Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Learn about how the Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender & Sexuality Studies brings together faculty and students to pursue lines of inquiry that challenge systems of power and inequality, assert human dignity, and imagine social transformation.

Circle of Indigenous Nations

Part of the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, the Circle of Indigenous Nations is a student services office that works to recruit, retain, and graduate American Indian/First Nations/Alaska Native students.


Upcoming Events

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