Sep 14, 2020
We were honored to interview Dakota professor, author and activist Waziyatawin. Land and power are the core of capitalist development projects like the Upper Harbor Terminal and there is no way to understand the dynamics of land ownership and power in Minnesota without understanding the genocide of the Dakota people and the dispossession of their homeland. Waziyatawin discusses this history, the present state of settler colonialism in Minnesota and potentials for liberation both in Minnesota and beyond.
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Waziyatawin is a Wahpetunwan Dakota from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe (Yellow Medicine Village) in southwestern Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. in American history from Cornell University in 2000 and earned tenure and an associate professorship in the history department at Arizona State University where she taught for seven years. Waziyatawin currently holds the Indigenous Peoples Research Chair in the Indigenous Governance Program at UVic. Her interests include projects centering on Indigenous decolonization strategies such as truth-telling and reparative justice, Indigenous women and resistance, the recovery of Indigenous knowledge, and the development of liberation ideology in Indigenous communities. She is the author or editor of five volumes including: Remember This!: Dakota Decolonization and the Eli Taylor Narratives; Indigenizing the Academy: Transforming Scholarship and Empowering Communities; For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook; In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors: The Dakota Commemorative Marches of the 21st Century; and, her most recent volume, What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland. She is a compelling speaker and is often invited to give talks and interviews, appearing on many radio and television programs.