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What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland
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What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  18 reviews
During the past 150 years, the majority of Minnesotans have not acknowledged the immense and ongoing harms suffered by the Dakota People ever since their homelands were invaded over 200 years ago. Many Dakota people say that the wounds incurred have never healed, and it is clear that the injustices: genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass executions, death marches, broken treatie ...more
Kindle Edition, 200 pages
Published July 5th 2011 (first published September 9th 2008)
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Mark
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is under 200 pages, but was one of the most difficult reads for me. I had to take breaks to process the layers of grief contained here. I went into this with an acknowledgement of western, white consumer/capitalist culture as unsustainable. I know there is a cost in life to all of our privilege. I was even aware of some of the tactics employed in breaking our indigenous people (e.g. indian boarding schools). But I was still surprised by the arguments laid out here, in particular that t ...more
Ai Miller
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ai by: Catherine
Incredible and frankly absolutely required reading for all people living in Minnesota, both non-Native and Native, Dakota and non-Dakota, and frankly the latter chapters are required reading for anyone living in a settler state. Visionary and also wholly possible, it's a challenge to Minnesotans to look an alternate future in the face. Just so powerful and a critical read, and I'm ashamed it took me this long to get to it.
Maddy
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this one for one of my Masters classes. It was so eye-opening and NEEDS to be taught in schools/colleges, because it shares the history of the Dakota people in Minnesota and the genocide that pushed them from their homes. I appreciated that not only did Waziyatawin share the history that so many white Americans are unaware of, but she also proposed avenues to make change and move forward. There is so little about indigenous peoples' history taught in schools and that needs to change, espe ...more
Karen Kohoutek
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very inspiring and clearly reasoned book about justice for Indigenous peoples, specific to Minnesota, which is what I was looking for, since that's the state where I grew up, and where the Indigenous history is everywhere, but obviously glossed-over and falsified. The point of view here is perhaps idealistic, especially when read in the Trump era, since the author may have overestimated white Minnesotans' moral maturity, and underestimated their capacity for denial. But I really liked ...more
Rebekah
This little book is incredible. Waziyatawin articulates the nuts and bolts of how imperialism and colonization work more clearly than I have ever seen. This should be required reading definitely for every Minnesotan, and worthwhile for others as well just because it’s SO well-stated. I highlighted just about every page. This is definitely heavy at times, but overall I was so inspired by Waziyatawin’s calls to imagine a different future. I am still digesting this book and I know I will be re-read ...more
Molly Budke
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Little enough has changed in the 10 years since this book was written, so it's still very timely. Waziyatawin skillfully argues within an academic structure without losing or apologizing for any of her anger. This book is a necessary read for all minnesotans, especially those who want to have conversations about reparations but don't know where to start.
Jessica
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this so much that I ended up ordering my own copy (I was reading a library version). I also convinced a coworker to buy his own copy because of how much I enthused about this book.

I grew up in MN and am several decades old and reading this was the first time I realized that Fort Snelling was a concentration camp, which is pretty appalling. I also didn't know that Fort Snelling is located on a sacred site in Dakota culture, which makes the whole thing another level of horrible.

I was exp
...more
Rachel Jackson
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it
I was looking forward to reading What Does Justice Look Like with the knowledge in mind that its author, Waziyatawin, is a member of the Upper Sioux Community that I have recently lived on and experienced the tribal atmosphere thereof. So now that I have a bit of knowledge with tribal politics and the dynamics between reservations and their surrounding areas, I thought it would be interesting to read more about it from a radical Dakota woman who I've heard about and who could provide some inform ...more
C.E. G
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, own-voices
Most of the 19th century history covered here was already familiar to me (though I liked how Waziyatawin framed it within the UN Convention's international definition of genocide), but the more recent history of the community talks about Fort Snelling were new to me, and especially interesting given the current conversation about renaming it. I've also been learning more about the concept of land reparations recently, and most of what I've read has been about individuals "donating" "their" land ...more
Diana Biggs
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Part of our history that few are aware of, it's a crime that the true history hasn't been written in text books. This spotlights Minnesota but applies throughout the country. Worth a read, even if you've read about the indigenous people as much as I have.
Alicia
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, 2018, 3-stars
3.5 stars
Erin Beintema
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Informative Read for the Average White Minnesotan

This books touches on many things I had not been taught in the Minnesota education system. It is true we have a lot of work to do.
Heather Henke
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a book with very good arguments and important information, but it reads like a phd thesis. I learned a lot and am challenging previously held ideas- but it was a slow process to finish the book.
Evelyn
Jul 31, 2015 added it
Awesome direct prose. Sheds light on all of us white people's history and machinations, and the Dakota's simple wish to live their traditions. We are the invaders/colonizers, and they are the resisters. Author equates settlers, and our ongoing culture, with Nazism, who directly and openly sought to exterminate an ethnicity of people (or more than one). The comparison is apt and we white americans need to face up to our genocidal history.
Patrick Tsai
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. Waziyatawin gives an indigenous perspective to MN history, and clearly outlines arguments for restorative justice through land reclamation as a form of resistance to an oppressive capitalist system. Additionally, the book gives non-indigenous allies a mandate to openly speak the truth about the genocidal history of MN and the USA.
Rose
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
"What Does Justice Look Like" is not a lighthearted romp. The author is heavy handed and unapologetic in her retelling of the role of genocide in the making of Minnesota. Regardless, the book made me put some serious thought into how I teach American Indian content, and I feel it should be required reading for anyone who teaches American History.
Jen K
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, powerful. Everyone should read this.
Cait K
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