Nov 29, 2022 | By: Justin Othoudt

BSU’s American Indian Resource Center Hosts Presentation on Indigenous Treaties

Perspective can often be a handy tool for those looking to understand a complex topic. On Tuesday at Bemidji State University’s American Indian Resource Center, Dr. Dennis Fisher, associate professor of Indigenous studies at BSU, gave a presentation titled “Treaties, Strategies and Traditionalism,” which offered an Indigenous and historical perspective on Native American treaties.

“The reason why that’s important is because when we include an Indigenous perspective in a historical context, we get a more comprehensive and satisfying picture of history,” explained Dr. Fisher. “It’s an educational opportunity so we can appreciate the history of relations between Ojibwe and non-natives in this region, and also looking forward to our shared future.”

A point made in the presentation was that treaty rights should be seen as not just something that benefits Native Americans, but also the public at large.

“We’re all treaty people,” said Dr. Fisher. “By learning about treaties, understanding treaties and how they operate, we’re also honoring the past and honoring our history, this ability for us all as people to collaborate and work together for the benefit all of us.”

During the presentation, Dr. Fisher openly encouraged attendees to seek out more information about treaties, and recommended a number of authors whose work he referenced.

“The idea is that, this is not the end, it’s a beginning, and so this is a part of the conversation that we’re having together,” said Dr. Fisher. “And it’s a lot of opportunities for follow up, for learning, and also for us to just talk and discuss together, right? And to share our experiences, and how we can move together, all of us really, forward into the future.”

In the spirit of continuing the conversation laid out by the presentation, a reading list of authors and data referenced was provided to attendees of the event.

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