Dakota Historian and Activist to Speak Sept. 13 on Genocide, the Dakota-U.S. War, and Truth-Telling

Dakota scholar Chris Mato Nunpa, Ph.D., will present the lecture, “The Truth Shall Make You Free: A Dakota Perspective on Genocide, the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862, and Truth-Telling,” at noon Thursday, Sept. 13, in the Anderson Student Center’s Woulfe Alumni Hall North on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

The program is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and the Justice and Peace Studies Program at St. Thomas in collaboration with the St. Paul Interfaith Network as a part of its monthly midday interfaith dialogue series. A buffet lunch will be served free of charge.

Dr. Chris Mato Nunpa

“The history of the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 and its consequences are little-known and long-suppressed among the majority of Minnesotans,” said Mato Nunpa, and “the role of religious ideology in the treatment of native populations is in many cases a key part of that story.”

Mato Nunpa will discuss and take questions about this local “inconvenient truth” from noon until 1 p.m.  After a short break, participants may stay for a second hour to respond in guided, small-group discussions on the topic.

A historian, elder and activist from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe (Yellow Medicine Community) in southwestern Minnesota, Mato Nunpa was associate professor of indigenous nations and Dakota studies at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall and now teaches as community faculty member at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.  He is working on a book titled A Sweet-Smelling Savour: Genocide, the Bible and the Indigenous Peoples of the United States.

The Jay Phillips Center is a joint enterprise of the University of St. Thomas and St. John’s University in Collegeville.  More information can be found on the center’s website.