Mni Sota Makoce, the original Dakota name for Minnesota, is the ancestral/contemporary homeland of the Dakota people. Just outside the windows of the COIN office is Wakpa Tanka (The Mississippi River), along which the Dakota have lived for many years. Wakpa Tanka is an important marker for many of us UMN-TC community members, as it creates the East and West Banks of the Twin Cities campus. Its convergence with Mnisota Wakpa(The Minnesota River) just downstream in Imnizaska Otunwe (St. Paul) is a sacred site of Dakota genesis and creation, called Bdote.
Here at COIN, we take seriously the historical/contemporary legacy of the UMN-TC, a land-grant institution that was endowed with stolen Dakota homelands through various forms of violence against the Dakota and their relations, as well as the legacy of the greater UMN system, which was created through the expropriation of Ojibwe and Dakota lands, as well as Ojibwe and Dakota dispossession, removal, and the attempted extermination of Ojibwe and Dakota relations through various forms of violence. Our office believes it is imperative to be cognizant of our being on and occupation of Indigenous homelands (Dakota homelands specifically at the UMN-TC), as well as our collective and individual positionalities, and responsibilities to the land and the original peoples of the lands we are on. We ground our office’s work in these responsibilities, legacies, and support for global Indigenous political/tribal sovereignty in all its forms. You can learn more about our office's history on our history page.
This living statement of place was written by Gabriela Ines Diaz (CHamoru and Pohnpeian) for the COIN office in February 2023, and is NOT a university/institutional land acknowledgement.