The land-grant universities still profiting off Indigenous homelands

June 08, 2021 / PSU-AAUP

High Country News

by Kalen Goodluck, Tristan Ahtone and Robert Lee

August 18, 2020

There are at least 16 land-grant universities making money from the expropriated Indigenous lands they retained from the Morrill Act.

In May 1900, a Boise Shoshone leader known as Captain Jim aimed his bow at deer and elk amid the shady pines and firs along a tributary of the Snake River near what is currently Boise, Idaho. Federal Indian agents called him “Captain” to denote his tribal leadership. Bundled away among the documents he carried was a letter signed by an Indian agent, which gave him permission to leave the Fort Hall Reservation and hunt on his tribe’s traditional territory. White settlers had flooded the lush Idaho valleys, gouging out gold and silver mines along the river and mountain ridges, while the Boise Shoshone lived far away, confined to a reservation.

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