Increasing numbers of campus events open with land acknowledgements that recognize Indigenous histories of the lands on which IUB is built, but what do you know about the history of Indigenous people in this area, or about our current indigenous student population? Here are three videos that instructors—and students—can use to enhance understanding of the Indigenous peoples of Indiana and Indigenous perspectives.
It’s important to recognize that Indigenous people are here on campus and alive today and not just in the past (a common misconception). In this video, Jordan Begay, an IUB biology student, answers 20 questions about the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center here at IUB and how students can get involved.
Students might be surprised to learn that prior to IUB becoming a university, the land that the campus is located on was home to Indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Local historian John Summerlot tells the history of how Indigenous people were pushed up and out, and how their lands were set aside for Indiana University.
Learning more about specific nations can help us move away from a pan-Indigenous approach. Diane Hunter, tribal historian for the Miami tribe, explains where and how the Miami people lived using photos and maps. She describes their emergence, where in Indiana they lived, the treaties that pushed them north and eventually out of Indiana, even though some remained. She explains their connection to nature and the land.
Consider taking some time to learn about the Indigenous people of this area—a good first step toward understanding the rich and sometimes problematic history of our state and university.