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2014 flood in the Detroit metro area. Image via Flickr by Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. CC BY-ND 2.10 DEED

Ghost Streams and Redlining

By Jacob Napieralski. In 2021, metro Detroit was hit with a rainstorm so severe that President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration at state officials’ request.

Nearly 8 inches of rain fell within 24 hours, closing every major freeway and causing massive damage to homes and businesses. The storm was of a severity historically seen in Detroit every 500 to 1,000 years.

Northern Minnesota. Image courtesy of Lee Vue.

Where We Stand: The University of Minnesota and Dakhóta Treaty Lands

From the Authors: Reflecting on the three years since writing “Where We Stand,” the main thing that we continue to focus on is the need for accountability and reparative action for land theft. Land acknowledgements are even more commonplace than they were in 2020, but they are still often nothing more than nice words, rarely, if ever, accompanied by substantive action. The Daḳota and other Indigenous people want to know what you are willing to give up when you acknowledge you are on someone else’s land. When you give that land acknowledgement, what are you acknowledging exactly? Do you have even the basic knowledge of how the people you name were dispossessed of their land? Do you know the treaties that were used to provide legal justification for that dispossession? The fact that this article continues to be downloaded so frequently, and that we are still frequently asked to present this information to a wide variety of audiences both within and outside of the University of Minnesota, tells us that this knowledge is still far from as common as it should be…

University research has a legacy of doing harm to Indigenous communities. However, a new collaborative project is showing how research can be done in a better and inclusive way. (Shutterstock)

Collaborative Indigenous Research

Collaborative Indigenous Research is a way to repair the legacy of harmful research practices A recent disclosure from Harvard’s Peabody Museum has brought attention, yet again, to the need to rethink the relationships between universities and Indigenous communities. Recently, the Peabody Museum announced that it has been holding locks of hair collected throughout the 1930s from more than 700 Indigenous children forced into residential boarding schools in the U.S…

"Returning the River" by Molly Van Avery, Dameun Strange, and Michael Hoyt. Image courtesy of Michael Hoyt.

Review of Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

As the water quality coordinator for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) for nine years, I organized and hosted the Mississippi River Forum. A monthly informational and networking series, the River Forum was one of my more visible tasks. A fundamental organizing principle of this ongoing series was to bring together a disciplinarily diverse group of water resource practitioners and decision-makers for conversations with people beyond their typical working relationships…

Where Bassett Creek meets the Mississippi River. Image courtesy of Patrick Nunnally.

Hidden Waterways: Bassett Creek

Bassett Creek, a meandering waterway separating North Minneapolis from the rest of the city, was ignored, piped, and hidden from the landscape over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The creek’s main stem begins downstream of Medicine Lake. The North Branch and the Sweeney Lake Branch join it in the 1.7-mile long tunnel that runs through Minneapolis (Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, n.d.). Unlike many of the other water features in Minneapolis such as the Chain of Lakes and Minnehaha Creek, Bassett Creek was not seen as an amenity…

Northern Minnesota. Image courtesy of Lee Vue.

Where We Stand: The University of Minnesota and Dakhóta Treaty Lands

Despite the centuries-long and ongoing erasure of Indigenous peoples from American history textbooks and classrooms, and the chronic consignment of Indigenous peoples to the past in mainstream American consciousness, it remains a fact that every inch of what is now the United States is land to which one or more Indigenous nations has a deep and abiding connection, and of which, at some point, the U.S. government at least tacitly acknowledged Indigenous ownership.