What Does Decolonization Look Like? Minnesota Turns 150 and Nothing Much Has Changed
In early May 2008, the state of Minnesota turned 150 years old. People fond of such things sought to have a celebration of this sesquicentennial anniversary, which included several days of events. What the organizers of this anniversary neglected to include in their accounts of history is the genocide against the Dakota nation, whose homeland was destroyed in order to create the state of Minnesota. This involved state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, hangings, bounties, massive displacements, and an overall campaign of violence and fear.
In the spirit of truth, justice, and reconciliation, many people came together to organize a response to the willful neglect of this history, and to protest the sesquicentennial anniversary. I spoke with one woman involved, Waziyatawin, a Wahpetunwan Dakota from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe. Waziyatawin is the author of several important works revolving around decolonization (you can learn more by checking out our earlier interview), including the forthcoming What Does Justice Look Like? The Dakota Struggle for Justice in Our Minisota Homeland.
Waziyatawin has an incredibly wholistic, long-range, inspiring vision of what justice and decolonization need to look like. In this interview, she talks about the events surrounding Minnesota's anniversary, her involvement and arrests, and her important perspectives on decolonization. This is important stuff whether we are Indigenous to Turtle Island or elsewhere.
Download 44:35  Recorded May 21, 2008
This interview is hosted on rabble.ca, so there is an intro ad for rabble. Hope you don't mind, the server at the radio station is inaccessible to me these days.