Responsibility and Repair: Legacies of Indigenous Enslavement, Indenture, and Colonization at Harvard and Beyond Evening Event
Institutions in the United States and around the world have begun, in recent years, to reckon with their historical ties to slavery and its legacies. Yet these efforts at truth telling and repair often fail to engage another “original sin” at the heart of the story: slavery in America began with the enslavement of Native peoples and the violent dispossession of the lands on which they had lived and thrived for generations.
As Harvard and other universities confront their own histories of enslavement and colonization, it is critical to elevate, examine, and honor the experiences of Native communities.
This conference, “Responsibility and Repair”—led by Harvard University’s Native American Program in collaboration with Harvard Radcliffe Institute—will bring together Native and university leaders to advance a national dialogue, expand research, and establish and deepen partnerships with Indigenous communities. Using the landmark Report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery (2022) as a starting point, the conference and its participants—activists, scholars, Native leaders, tribal historians, and others—will explore the responsibility of universities to confront their past and will recommend steps toward repair that is often centuries overdue.
The opening session of the conference will feature a keynote by Dallas Goldtooth (Mdewakanton Dakota and Dińe), an activist, actor (Reservation Dogs, Rutherford Falls), organizer, writer, Dakota culture and language teacher, and founding member of the sketch comedy group, the 1491s.
See "Responsibility and Repair: Legacies of Indigenous Enslavement, Indenture, and Colonization at Harvard and Beyond” for event information on the full-day conference on Friday, November 3, 2023.
Stepping toward Justice (Harvard Gazette, 11/14/23)
Painful Questions from Indigenous Leaders (Harvard Magazine, 11/9/23)
Indigenous Speakers Demand Harvard Return Human Remains at Radcliffe Conference (Harvard Crimson, 11/7/23)