The history of the native peoples of the plains of North America is mired in deep set tragedy. In the 19th century, as prospectors and pioneers flooded west in droves, seeking fortune in gold and land, indigenous populations were subjected to repeated massacre and territorial encroachment.
Government treaties allocated tribes to reservations, occasionally referred to by native peoples as internment camps. Children were removed from families and all aspects of being Indian were slowly and methodically bred out of younger generations.
The Minnesota territory is home to 11 native tribes; some are relegated to reservations, while others have assimilated into urban centers. Native problems stem from generational trauma incurred from centuries of cultural displacement. And yet, in the face of genocide, the resilience and hope of native peoples carries their hearts forward each day.
We met with and were honored to profile two native leaders who are changing the present narrative. You can check out the work here and here.