As loyal Minnesota Women’s Press readers are aware, we have been actively covering the stories of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR). We included our first Transforming Justice alert in June encouraging readers to engage with the issue of legislative budget for an MMIR office to be established.
In her poignant memoir “Watershed”, Ranea Lenor Hanson points out that Minnesota is an apex whose rivers flow north to Hudson Bay, east through the Great Lakes, and south to the Gulf of Mexico. I rather enjoy the concept of our state being central to three directions. For me, it is a reminder that wherever you are in our state, there are three places you can flow.
Lead for Minnesota is a program that recruits, trains, and places recent college graduates around the state into two-year paid fellowships in or near their home community. There are currently 24 fellows in the 2020 class placed around Minnesota. Here are two of them.
“Being able to ride the bus and see graffiti I knew was done by my friends that acknowledged our existence — this reminder to everyone that these buildings we are writing on are built on our land due to decades of genocide and forced attempts at assimilation — that was healing and empowering.”
On the flight back to Minneapolis I researched why “tribe” and “tribalism” are so problematic. I learned that the words originated with white Christian conquerors and their violence toward not only Native people, but Africans as well.