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TRUTH Project

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. Few universities had ever considered the contemporary impacts of their formations from the land dispossession used to create the Morrill Act of 1862 until Robert Lee and Tristan Ahtone published “Land Grab Universities” (High Country News, 2020) and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council called for such an accounting of Mni Sóta Maḳoce’s land grab. The first of its kind, TRUTH is an exploratory study to assess what has been erased and effaced in order to reclaim what was grabbed by the University of Minnesota. TRUTH uses place-based, Tribally-led research designed to, for the first time, tell the story of Tribal-University relations from an Indigenous perspective. This is done through the centering of land, practicing relationality and amplifying Tribal voices. 

Press Release

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The press release (4/11/23) announces the publication of Oshkigin Noojimo'iwe, which highlights the ongoing struggle for recognition of Indigenous rights and sovereignty, focusing on the systemic mistreatment and erasure of Indigenous peoples by the University of Minnesota. The report concludes with detailed recommendations that University leadership can take towards meaningful change.

Executive Summary

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The executive report offers a high-level synopsis of the TRUTH report. It outlines the different forms institutional harm has taken since 1851, and previews the report’s detailed recommendations for what University of Minnesota leadership can do to take concrete, meaningful, and measurable steps towards healing.

TRUTH Project - Full Report

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The full report, titled Oshkigin Noojimo'iwe, Naġġġi Waƞ P̣P̣P̣etu Uƞ Ihduwaṡṡṡ'ake He Oyate Kiƞ Zaniwic̣c̣c̣aye Kte, which we understand to translate roughly into “the spirit of fire renews and heals the people” in Ojibwe and Dakota languages, is available for download here. This includes the complete report, recommendations, and appendices. Full report without index (.pdf).

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