Given ASHE’s two-year presence in Minnesota, the LCEC intends for this syllabus to serve as a starting point for ongoing learning, dialogue, and action. Mni Sóta Maoce, where “the land where the waters reflect the sky,” has long been a rich contact zone (Guam Poma de Ayala, 1980; Pratt, 1991). Before white colonizers arrived, this region saw the resettlement of the Anishinaabe (also known as the Chippewa or Ojibwe) from the East. For the 2023 conference syllabus, the LCEC has focused largely on these Indigenous communities and their experiences of ongoing colonialism in order to provide a historical foundation for our forthcoming discussions of the purposes, politics, and practices of higher education.

In the centuries since European settlement began, the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area has become home to many racial and ethnic groups that moved both within and across the borders of what is today the United States. We encourage the 2024 LCEC to build upon our work by centering the stories of these younger Minnesotan communities and their contributions to decolonization, anti-racism, and an inclusive democracy. Any and all ASHE members are invited to participate in our ongoing work and apply to join the 2024 LCEC. Whether you formally join the LCEC or not, you are also invited to contribute resources to the LCEC’s efforts by suggesting readings, lectures, artwork, local experiences, or anything else of value via this linked form.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the people and history of Minnesota during your visit. We hope that these resources help us collectively center the needs and desires of our local hosts, both in our immediate work in Minneapolis and in our future collective endeavors.

In solidarity,
The 2023 Local Community Engagement Committee


  • Pratt, M. L. (1991). Arts of the contact zone. Profession. 33–40. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25595469  
  • Guaman Poma de Ayala, F. (1980). El primer nueva coronica y buen gobierno (J. Murra & R. Adorno, Eds.). Siglo.