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Associate Director of External Affairs | Cheryl Reitan | creitan@d.umn.edu | (218) 726-8996
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November 16, 2011
Susan Banovetz | UMD Director of External Affairs | 218 726-6141 | banovetz@d.umn.edu
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Jean O'Brien, Professor | Department of History-Twin Cities | 612 624-5794 | obrie002@umn.edu


Peering into the Past and Present of New England

UMD Doctoral StudentsJean O'Brien
U of MN professor will speak at UMD about American Indian presence denied in history

Jean O'Brien, White Earth Ojibwe and University of Minnesota history professor, will address the prevalent pattern she has observed in which histories, public monuments, and commemorations created during the nineteenth century deny the presence of Indian peoples in New England and memorialize their alleged disappearance. The public is invited to UMD to attend O'Brien's presentation, "Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England," on Monday, November 28 at 5 p.m. in the 4th floor Library Rotunda. The presentation will be followed by a reception.

The effort to declare that the Indian peoples disappeared was strategically deployed in order to refute Indian claims to lands and rights. In many cases, it is ironic that there are historical documents stating that the Indian peoples vanished. The enduring presence of Native peoples across and beyond New England refutes this stance, according to O'Brien.

"This presentation will touch upon the history of American Indians," O'Brien said. "But it will also illustrate how they virtually have been erased from our history. Yet many of the Indian people lived, and still live, throughout New England."

O'Brien is co-founder and immediate past President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. She also served on the Advisory Board and provided on-camera appearances for We Shall Remain, a PBS American Experience series on American Indians.

This event is sponsored by the Chancellor's Diversity Initiative, the American Indian Learning Resource Center, the American Indian Student Organizations, the Commission on Women, the Department of History, and the Department of American Indian Studies.

ABOUT JEAN O'BRIEN
Jean M. O'Brien (White Earth Ojibwe) is professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. She is the author of Dispossession by Degrees: Indian Land and Identity in Natick, Massachusetts, 1650-1790 (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), and numerous other articles. O'Brien is co-founder and immediate past president of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. She also served on the Advisory Board and provided on-camera appearances for We Shall Remain, PBS American Experience series on American Indians.



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