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Why Treaties Matter: Self Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations

The Minnesota Humanities Center, Indian Affairs Council of Minnesota, and Smithsonian National Museum of the Native American, with support from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, have teamed up to create Why Treaties Matter. This online exhibit explores "how Dakota and Ojibwe treaties with the U.S. government affected the lands and lifeways of the Indigenous peoples of the place now called Minnesota and why these binding agreements between nations still matter today." Visitors will find a series of primary documents, video interviews, maps, and interactive timelines that detail a variety of topics, including treaties between the Dakota and the Ojibwe nations, treaties between the United States government and the Dakota and Ojibwe during the nineteenth century (often broken by the U.S. government); the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act; and the meaning of tribal self-governance in contemporary law and society. This exhibition illustrates, at once, the violent displacement and injustice experienced by the Ojibwe and Dakota nations as well as the history, culture, and traditions of the Ojibwe and Dakota nations and the significance of tribal sovereignty today. Why Treaties Matter is accompanied by a series of resources for educators, including a series of educators guide and a terminology primer.
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