Monday Moments with President Bergman: October 14, 2019

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on October 14th, 2019 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a day where people are encouraged to honor the culture of Native people. In acknowledgement of the complicated issues surrounding the colonization of the Americas and its lasting impact on the land and its people, a growing number of states, cities, colleges, and universities are celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of or together with Columbus Day on the second Monday of October. As a community that respects the dignity of all people and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we pause to remember and celebrate the indigenous people who traditionally lived and currently live in Minnesota and throughout the United States. We remember that Gustavus Adolphus College was built on indigenous land, and we acknowledge our regional history, especially the painfully sad time of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and the subsequent hanging of 38 Dakota men in Mankato.

History is rarely as simple as the lessons we learned as children. As a place of liberal arts learning, we are called to explore issues of the past and prepare for the future with open minds and open hearts. We evaluate and re-evaluate based on the information that is available, view issues through a multidisciplinary lens, and always make ethical reflection a part of our learning.

Think about what you can do this week to more fully appreciate indigenous culture. Seek out Native food, music, art, and crafts at an Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration. Visit the Treaty Site History Center here in Saint Peter, where you can learn the stories of the Dakota people as well as early European explorers, traders, and settlers. Explore the Minnesota Historical Society’s extensive online resources to learn more about the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

By remembering and reflecting on the past, we can work toward a better future where peace and justice are possible for all people, where good relationships, trust, and truth-telling are the norm, and where diversity, equity, and inclusion an embedded part of our institutional culture. When we move forward together, we all contribute to creating a welcoming, safe, and thriving community.

Until next week, keep up the good work, Gusties.

With respect,



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