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Rethinking Statehood: Sovereignty, Memory and Citizenship in Minnesota 150, 2008-2009

What have been the historical, cultural, and political relationships between the University of Minnesota, American Indian sovereign governments, and the larger Twin Cities community?  How can more just futures and a more vibrant University be imagined through learning from contemporary American Indian ways of living and knowing in the realms of politics, law, science, education and community outreach, and the performing and visual arts?

The interdisciplinary collaborative Rethinking Statehood will critically examine claims to statehood, sovereignty and belonging on the occasion of the Minnesota Sesquicentennial. Based in the Department of American Indian Studies, with participation from faculty in the Departments of Art, History, Theatre Arts, and Geography as well as community leaders from across the state, the collaborative plans to organize the following events during the 2008-09 academic year: four symposia, a Tribal Leaders speaker series, four related undergraduate courses with site visits, two Twin Cities art exhibitions and a state-wide American Indian newspaper publication. Through these events, we will explore the historical, cultural and political relationships between the University of Minnesota, American Indian sovereign governments and the larger Twin Cities community. By learning from contemporary American Indian ways of living and knowing in the realms of politics, law and science, in education and community outreach, and through the performing and visual arts, we seek to understand how more just futures can be imagined, and a more vibrant University can be realized. Conveners: Brenda Child (American Indian Studies, CLA), Chris Baeumler (Art, CLA), and Sonja Kuftinec (Theatre Arts and Dance, CLA).

Collaborative Expert Consultants: Heid Erdrich (Director, Ancient Traders Art Gallery), Mona Smith (Dakota Multi-Media Artist and Educator), and Catherine Whipple (Editor, The Circle).

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