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Preview — What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland by Waziyatawin Angela Wilson
What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland
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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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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.