When Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis, Minnesota decided not to offer a class called The Dakota People of Minnesota: Genocide, Survival, and Recovery in 2012, students responded with a protest and petition.
The class was taught by Dr. Chris Mato Nunpa in the fall of 2011 as a special topic under the title ETH332: Topics in Contemporary Native North America in the Ethnic Studies Department.
Nantawan Lewis, chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, clarified that the class wasn’t dropped, noting that “ETH332 offers a different topic or a sequence of topics each time as a means of enriching the elective offerings for students.”
Nunpa and protesting students feel it is important to offer the class again this year because it’s the 150th anniversary of the U.S-Dakota War of 1862. A war that ended with the hanging of 38 Dakota Indians in Mankato, Minnesota on December 26, 1862—the largest mass execution in U.S. history.
“When I talk about genocide and the 15 million Natives who were killed since the 1500s it is considered controversial; it makes others uncomfortable talking about the past. But not too many people know about this history, and eventually, if no one knows about it, its no longer history at all,” Nunpa told The Circle.
A peaceful protest was held December 7, 2011 in the New Main building of the Saint Paul, Minnesota campus that included students, professors, community leaders and representatives from the American Indian Movement. They were not only protesting the class mentioned above but the lack of Native American Studies classes in general. Students also called attention to American Indian Spirituality, another class that was nixed for the spring 2012 semester, which runs from January to May.
The students are petitioning Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton; the chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, Nantawan Lewis; Metropolitan State University President Sue Hammersmith; and the chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Steven J. Rosenstone, to bring back the Genocide, Survival, and Recovery class.
The petition has garnered 135 signatures and is available to sign at Change.org.
According to the Ethnic Studies Course Descriptions page, there are no specific American Indian classes being offered this semester, but there are six that are “not offered for the current term but will be offered some time in future terms.”
Lewis said there are many factors as to why Native American courses are not being offered this semester including the needs of students enrolled in the ethnic studies major and minor and in specific professional programs like the Urban Teacher Education Program.
“The department must balance its course offerings in light of the budget that is allocated to the department,” Lewis said, adding that studies of four major racial groups—African American, American Indian, Asian American and Latino American—are rotated on an annual and bi-annual basis. This is done to “ensure equal distribution of offerings that respond to the needs of our major and minor and availability of instructors.”
Lewis said courses in American Indian studies are typically offered during the fall semester, and aren’t strictly offered by the Ethnic Studies Department. Metro State University doesn’t have an actual Native American Studies major, but does offer classes specific to American Indians through the History Department, the Literature and Language Department and the Human Services Department.
“Students who wish to major in an individualized track with emphasis on American Indian Studies have a diversity of focuses in this discipline to choose from across the university curriculum,” Lewis said.
“Like most women, I currently live in a society where violence, harassment and scary shit can break out at any moment, just because I told some random asshole “no” without bothering to be nice about it. Doing that is so dangerous that most women don’t dare; after a few scary incidents, they learn to make up excuses, to smile, to be sweet and welcoming, to act as if every single random asshole on the street is a precious new friend that they would just LOVE to stand outside of the Chipotle and chat with FOR HOURS, if only cruel fate had not intervened. That’s what it’s actually like, being a woman: Playing nice with every random asshole, because this random asshole might be the one who hurts you. And then, if he hurts you anyway, they’ll tell you that you led him on.”—
So. Ladies. Now is the time to invest in an assertive attitude, brass knuckles, and an anti-rape condom. It has spikes on the inside (it doesn’t harm you) but the rapist will have to have it surgically removed by a doctor.
If you’ve ever seen a porn you know what a female orgasm looks like… but have you ever experienced one first hand? no? well, you should get off your computer and hop to it, because it’s fucking majestic. there are actually multiple types of female orgasms and 6 of them will be discussed here-
Haven’t heard any males I know brag about accomplishing this. Sad really.
”One day we must ask the question, ‘Why are there forty million poor people in America?’ And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s market place. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, ‘Who owns the oil?’ You begin to ask the question, ‘Who owns the iron ore?’ You begin to ask the question, ‘Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two thirds water?’ These are questions that must be asked.”
>.> It’s annoying when I’m told that I’m too skinny to be a woman because I eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis. Has everyone forgot what it was like to be healthy? So next time you tell a person that ‘Marilyn Monroe’ is an ideal woman, remember an female athlete with a can beat the shit…
XD It helps when you’re runnin from zombies I guess.
So I’ve been seeing a lot more anger from Native descendants toward their headdress being used as a fashion statement. And I have to agree, it really is disgusting seeing pale white girls with almost no clothes on wearing them just for the sake of fashion. Women aren’t supposed to wear those…
the thing about it is, despite the myth of the “Great American Melting Pot” not everyone wants folks all up in their cultures or spiritualities and taking/using their stuff.
Sometimes showing respect means respectfully stepping away.
After everything that has happened, i don’t personally think that any native cultures (notice the S, they are all separate cultures… as separate as the US is to China) have an obligation to educate and/or give up more knowledge.
Also, people in this country just don’t know how to show/give respect and also assume that because representations of native cultures have been (inaccurately) portrayed in media and that because they’re here within the US, that we would have the same customs or (to the point I’m getting at) that we would view knowledge the same way that the western world does…. but that’s just not true. We’re not just free to give up information to teach people just cuz we have it and they want to learn. There are a lot of things which need to have been given permission to share.
We’re also not getting paid to teach people…. and from the amount of people asking for people to educate them, we’d need to open a school to do that sort of thing… but unless someone’s down to pay us several million dollars to build/open one and pay us to pay our bills, that’s not gonna happen.
Honestly, I wish that these people who were reblogging photos of themselves and others in warbonnets and exotifying/romanticizing the fuck out of us would instead learn about their own indigenous cultures that their ancestors used to practice. I think that they would honestly be more fulfulled doing that and then also would be able to approach other folks with far more respect having understood what happened to their ancestors, what it’s like to have traditional knowledge lost, the struggle to reclaim it, and the understanding of how it is to live in two worlds at once: your ancestral/traditional one and the dominate culture.
Every person that I’ve come across that has done that, has been and is an amazing ally and understand that shit. As a result, other indigenous people are willing to open up to them and share things with them… because there is respect between the two people.
Also, trust me when I say there are ligament reasons to get mad at these things… from the stereotypes about native Americans that it continues to push whether that be savage indian or the noble savage/romanticized Indian, to the idea that we’re extinct, or the way which it skews and poisons the hundreds if not thousands of native kids who’ve been removed’s ideas about who they and their ancestors are, or also the way in which it takes money out of native communities and and native artists/crafts people, or finally non-connected natives and non-natives total lack of capability to see us as people and to respect us when we speak and DO try to teach people something… people will no listen often cuz they think that they know better than the natives who’ve been in their communities and cultures and have been living the real actual shit.
But consider, who disrespects other people’s cultures the most has been doing it for centuries regardless of the ‘melting pot’.