You may have heard the term “land-grant universities,” and wondered exactly what that means. Well, if you are on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, you are on Ho-Chunk land. On September 15, 1832, in the aftermath of the bloody Black Hawk War, the U.S. government forced the Ho-Chunk Nation to sign a treaty ceding territory that included the current City of Madison and the University of Wisconsin campus. Thirty years later, the U.S. Morrill Act redistributed some 1.4 million more acres of Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Ojibwe and Dakota lands to the University of Wisconsin and other universities. High school and college textbooks have often glossed over this period of history. With a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, educators at the University of Wisconsin now seek to correct that oversight with a new curriculum on indigenous land dispossession. Kasey Keeler, an assistant professor of Civil Society and American Indian Studies, a member of the Tulolumne Band of Me-Wuk and Citizen Potawatomi, heads up the new program.
Universities Built on Indigenous Land
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