Gustavus Indigenous Relations Initiatives

Vice President for Mission, Strategy, and Innovation Kathi Tunheim sent this message to members of the Gustavus community on January 13, 2021.
Posted on January 13th, 2021 by

TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: Kathi Tunheim, Vice President for Mission, Strategy, and Innovation
SUBJECT: Gustavus Indigenous Relations Initiatives
DATE: January 13, 2021

Gustavus Adolphus College is dedicated to ongoing efforts to explore, analyze, and contextualize the history of the College, indigenous relations, and the history of the land upon which the campus resides. The Office of the President has committed internal funding in 2021 to support a focused research effort to investigate our history through the lens of the College’s relationship with local and regional indigenous communities. This work aligns closely with the Mission and Core Values of the College, therefore as Vice President for Mission, Strategy and Innovation, the President has asked me to lead a core group of Gustavus faculty and staff who will work toward the objectives outlined below this year.

  1. Spring and Summer: Historical research led by Dr. Misti Harper and Dr. Ursula Lindqvist
  2. Summer and Fall: Develop educational materials and web pages with translated documents and historical analysis
  3. Fall: Establish a process through which the College will engage with indigenous communities in our area

Through this research, the greater Gustavus community will have the opportunity to critically examine and reflect on the history of the College together. This will be an important next step in acknowledging portions of our history that have long been hidden from the public eye. As we take time to acknowledge all aspects of our history, we must also work to form long-lasting and meaningful connections with the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ peoples.

Together, we can work towards developing a more just narrative that reflects the experiences of all involved and build lasting connections with Indigenous leaders and members.

Once the research is underway, I will host monthly open meetings for the campus to learn alongside Dr. Lindqvist and Dr. Harper. Please watch for future communications about the dates and times of those community learning opportunities.




Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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