Repairing the Past: Returning Native Land
David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. His most recent book, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Carnegie Medal in 2019. He is currently a professor of English at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Treuer and Dr. Kendi held a powerful conversation about the ramifications of historical erasure, anti-Native racism, and Treuer’s antiracist proposal to return the National Parks to the tribes.
For a transcript of this episode, click here.
QUESTIONS TO INSPIRE DIALOGUE
- Dr. Kendi and David Treuer spoke about how the Native Americans tended to the land that we know today as national park territory. Would you support returning the parks back to the Native tribes? What do you think that would mean for not only the Native American people, but also for America?
- Do you know any native people? Do you know the history of native people in this country? Have you or anyone you know had discussions around what life for native people has been like throughout America’s history?
- Dr. Kendi and David Treuer discussed the myth of invisibility, of nothingness, of this virgin American soil before the arrival of European colonists. Do you agree or disagree? Do you think the American people are ready to confront that myth? How do you think we as a nation should go about correcting these myths?
- Dr. Kendi spoke about justice being not just a recognition that a crime has been committed, but also accountability, awareness and restitution. Does America need to take responsibility in any way after all this time? What would that look like to you?
FURTHER READING + RESOURCES
- Return the National Parks to the Tribes, David Treuer, The Atlantic, April 12, 2021
- The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
- Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory by Claudio Saunt
- The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
- Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer
- Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West by Ned Blackhawk
ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT
- Native American Rights Fund (NARF)
- Association on American Indian Affairs
- Warrior Women Project
- Native American Heritage Association
- American Indian College Fund
- First Nations COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
- Red Hawk Native American Arts Council
- National Indian Childcare Association
- National Indian Council on Aging