Sharing Personal Narratives, Reshaping Societal Narratives
I am a writer, organizer, and sociologist whose work focuses on rural communities, agriculture, and movements for ecological and food justice. Originally from the land between two rivers, or what is now known as Iowa, I continue to remain engaged in the movements for ecological justice in the heart of what is now the commodified agricultural system. I currently live in a very different watershed today – Lake Superior – where I work at Michigan Technological University as an associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. I also serve as co-president of the Women, Food and Agriculture board and on the Western Upper Peninsula’s Food Systems Collaborative’s planning team.
I have lived the majority of my life and continue to find much inspiration for my scholarly and creative work from the lands and waters known today as Iowa, taken through theft and false treaties by the US federal government from the Ioway, Meskwaki, and Sauk nations in 1838 and 1842. These lands and waters provided historic and seasonal homelands and hunting grounds for the Oceti Sakowin, Winnebago, Potawatomi, Ponca, Ottawa peoples, among others. Today, the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississipi in Iowa, or the Meskwaki Nation, own a settlement in central Iowa, the Omaha and Wineebago nations own lands in western Iowa and, in 2022, 7 acres in Johnson County, IA became the first lands formerly returned to the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. Today, I now live along Lake Superior, on the ancestral and contemporary homelands of the Anishinaabe, ceded to the US through the Treaty of La Pointe in 1842 and now known as the western part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. I am indebted to those who have cared for, since time immemorial, the lands and waters I know as my childhood and adulthood homes. I work to unlearn colonial relations within human and more-than-human communities through my professional and personal lives.