march, 2019

14mar7:00 pmCounter-Memory in the World Upside-Down: Settler-Indigenous (Ir)reconciliation in Mni Sota Makoce


Event Details

The East Side Freedom Library invites you to a presentation by Canadian scholar-activist Sam Grey

Counter-Memory in the World Upside-Down: Settler-Indigenous (Ir)reconciliation in Mni Sota Makoce

Thursday, March 14, 2019, 7PM

Join Canadian scholar-activist, Sam Grey, as she explores the concept of “reconciliation” as it first emerged in Marshall, Minnesota, in 1986, not in South Africa in 1996. This made the Dakota the Indigenous group with the first experience of reconciliation anywhere. The project here did not merely fall short of its very modest goals, but it triggered an inverse response. Pushback from Settler groups, counter-campaigns from amateur historians (described by one commentator as “a world-upside-down gaslighting whitelash”), and hesitancy and half-measures on the part of official bodies shattered Dakota belief in “the transformative power of telling the truth.” This talk draws on over a hundred interviews with Dakota and Settler Minnesotans, nine months of participant-observation in significant sites across the state, and analysis of two centuries of news coverage and personal correspondence to present (ir)reconciliation in Mni Sota Makoce as Settler-colonial confrontation in which the language of emotion is used to appeal to political virtue, and places that encounter within the wider realm of the “memory wars” now flaring up around the world.

Sam Grey is a researcher, author, and consultant whose practical and academic engagements focus on peacebuilding, reconciliation, memory, and historical justice. She has worked with, in, and for Indigenous communities in northern Thailand, Andean Peru, the American Upper Midwest, and Canada. We are excited to welcome Sam back to the East Side Freedom Library.

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East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street
Free and open to all and 651-230-3294


(Thursday) 7:00 pm CST


East Side Freedom Library

1105 Greenbrier St, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106


East Side Freedom Libraryemail or call 651-230-3294