This course links issues of colonialism, race, environmental justice, and Indigenous knowledge in ways that bring them “home” and make it personal. It will be taught from an unapologetically American Indian perspective, based on American Indian studies methods, and is an adapted version of a university course the instructor teaches annually.
The central question this course will engage is: What is your relationship to place and to Indigenous peoples? Our work is to unsettle the master narratives that maintain American settler colonialism and work toward developing an ethic of accountability and responsibility. Because Miami is such an ethnically diverse place, it is an ideal location to generate these complex and sometimes fraught discussions.
You will work gathering data showing how society marks the land in ways that erases Indigenous existence and exalts colonialism through examining monuments and other kinds of cultural landmarks throughout the region. This will culminate in a digitally-based story map project in which you will collectively share what you have learned and leave an internet-based public record.
Please download the full syllabus in the Resources section of this page.
What is Your Relationship to Place: Examining Colonial Privilege and AccountabilityMon, Jul 27, 20202:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Tue, Jul 28, 20202:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Wed, Jul 29, 20202:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Thu, Jul 30, 20202:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, and an independent consultant and educator in environmental justice policy planning. Dina’s research focuses on Indigenous nationalism, self-determination, environmental justice, and education. At CSUSM she teaches courses on environmentalism and American Indians, traditional ecological knowledge, religion and philosophy, Native women’s activism, American Indians and sports, and decolonization. She also works within the field of critical sports studies, examining the intersections of indigeneity and the sport of surfing. As a public intellectual, Dina brings her scholarship into focus as an award-winning journalist as well, contributing to numerous online outlets including Indian Country Today, the Los Angeles Times and High Country News. Dina is co-author with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz of Beacon Press’s “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (2016), and her most recent book, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock, was released in 2019.
- Prior to attending first session, please read:
- An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States: Introduction
- View The Doctrine of Discovery
- Day 1 Settler Colonialism
- Understanding settler colonialism; relationship of domination; the multicultural state
- Homework (read for tomorrow):
- Environmental Justice Theory and Its Limitations for Indigenous Peoples;
- (Not So) Strange Bedfellows: Indian Country’s Ambivalent Relationship with the Environmental Movement, Dina Gilio-Whitaker
- Day 2 Environmental Justice
- Lecture topic: what EJ means for American Indians
- Homework (read/view for tomorrow):
- John Mohawk: Survive and Thrive (video, 21 minutes)
- Mishkos Kenomagwen, the Lessons of Grass: Restoring Reciprocity with the Good Green Earth, Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Day 3 Worldview/Epistemology
- Lecture topic: Western philosophy, Indigenous philosophy, religion, connection to land
- “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of Settler Privilege”
- “Settler Fragility: Why it’s So Hard to Talk About Settler Privilege”
- Write: What is your relationship to land, place, and Indigenous peoples?
- Day 4 Accountability
- Lecture/discussion: settler privilege/fragility; unsettling the racial lens; discuss relationship to land and place.