Carleton College


A Social Science Research Council Sustaining Humanities Infrastructure Program grant will support Indigenous Studies at Carleton College, a movement slowed by the pandemic but now resumed and primed for invigoration by hiring of a permanent Indigenous Communities Liaison. Supported in their first year by a SHIP grant and subsequently by the college, the Indigenous Communities Liaison will be charged with improving how Carleton engages Native people and Native-related issues on campus and crucially with building better relations with local and regional Native nations, especially the two Native nations located within 30 miles of Carleton’s campus in southeastern Minnesota. (Twenty-one others share the geography of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.) Adding a permanent Indigenous Communities Liaison to the college’s academic support staff will dramatically strengthen the college’s efforts to rectify historical wrongs committed against Native peoples – not least, the theft of their land and subsequent displacement by settlers who included the founders of Carleton College, wrongs recognized in our land acknowledgement. In this way, the liaison will help move the college toward justice and honest storytelling about the college’s origins, foster open and equitable partnerships with tribal governments and Native organizations, and promote the well-being of Native members of the campus community, especially Native students. While the Indigenous Communities Liaison will, during and beyond the period of the SSRC grant, assume duties that span the college’s academic departments and programs, during the grant period proper the liaison will focus on humanities fields where Carleton has a core of committed faculty members, an array of vibrant and popular courses, and – crucially – a set of strong connections to local Native communities.