Native American tribes are seeking reparations for land that was “taken” from them across the country, joining a movement among Black Americans demanding restitution from the government for past oppression.
State-run universities in particular are facing pressure to address the acquisition of their land, often purchased from Native American tribes for far less than the land was worth. The University of Minnesota is one that has faced particular pressure.
“You have these schools that have tens of millions of dollars at their disposal, but they are not looking at any ways they can improve living situations for Indigenous peoples today,” An Garagiola, a descendant of the Chippewa tribe, told the Washington Post. “Yet their existence as institutions, as schools of learning, are only there today because of everything that was taken.”
Fox News Digital reached out to the university for comment, but they did not immediately respond.
The movement comes months after a report scolded UMN for its historic mistreatment of the state’s tribes.
The report called on university officials to hire more Native American faculty, offer students additional financial support, and give back land as reparations for the damage.
The report said that the university’s founding board of regents “committed genocide and ethnic cleansing of Indigenous peoples for financial gain, using the institution as a shell corporation through which to launder lands and resources.”
UMN officials have acknowledged the findings as well, creating a program in 2021 that offers free or substantially reduced tuition to many enrolled members of the state’s 11 federally recognized tribes.
“We welcome the opportunity to examine the university’s history. It is important that we work in collaboration with the tribal nations to chart our course from here,” Janie Mayeron, chair of the board of regents for UMN said during a meeting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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