April 11, 2023
The TRUTH Report focuses on the persistent, systemic mistreatment of Indigenous peoples by the University of Minnesota and offers concrete steps leadership can take towards healing.
The TRUTH Project—Towards Recognition and University-Tribal Healing—in partnership with the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and the 11 federally recognized Tribes in Minnesota, has released their final report titled Oshkigin Noojimo'iwe, Naġi Waƞ P̣etu Uƞ Ihduwaṡ'ake He Oyate Kiƞ Zaniwic̣aye Kte. Collaborators on this report also include tribal leaders, community advocates, and University of Minnesota graduate students and faculty.
Drawing on academic literature and financial, legislative, and archival records, as well as Indigenous oral histories, the report details how the founding regents and the University of Minnesota have undermined Tribal sovereignty and Indigenous self-determination, using genocide, land expropriation, and exploitation of Indigenous knowledge systems to transfer and accumulate wealth. Findings also indicate that the University has participated in the development and teaching of revisionist narratives that conceal the systemic harms perpetuated against Indigenous peoples.
Its authors call for immediate action from the Board of Regents and University leadership to address these issues with concrete, meaningful, and measurable steps toward healing through a comprehensive approach that combines reparations, truth-telling, policy change, and transformative justice processes. The report concludes with a section of detailed recommendations.
The University of Minnesota and its leadership must hold itself accountable for its active role in the erasure, genocide, and dispossession of Indigenous peoples. The Institute for Advanced Study strongly supports these recommendations. We are eager to support the University to make these recommendations come to fruition, and we will continue to do our part through our programs and daily work as part part of our four core priorities. In the meantime, the IAS will continue to support the work of the TRUTH project.
IMAGE: TRUTH Core Research Team, L-R: Misty Blue, An Garagiola, Audrianna Goodwin. Credit Abby Travis.