Responsibility and Repair: Legacies of Indigenous Enslavement, Indenture, and Colonization

This conference, “Responsibility and Repair”—led by Harvard University’s Native American Program in collaboration with Harvard Radcliffe Institute—brought together Native and university leaders to advance a national dialogue, expand research, and establish and deepen partnerships with Indigenous communities. Click here for the 94-minute video of the November 2, 2023 opening session of the conference. Click here for the recording of Session Two that followed and here for Session Three.

Using the landmark Report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery (2022) as a starting point, the conference and its participants—activists, scholars, Native leaders, tribal historians, and others—explored the responsibility of universities to confront their past and will recommend steps toward repair that is often centuries overdue. (Above, center) Joe Gone of the Harvard University Native American Program opened the program by describing the University’s original beginnings as an Indian College.

(Above) The session proceded with a prayer delivered by Larry Spotted Crow Mann and was followed by remarks from Tobias Vanderhoop of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head and remarks by Harvard University President Claudine Gay.

The opening session of the conference featured a keynote by Dallas Goldtooth (Mdewakanton Dakota and Dińe), an activist, actor (Reservation Dogs, Rutherford Falls), organizer, writer, Dakota culture and language teacher, and founding member of the sketch comedy group, the 1491s. (Above) Dallas was introduced and interviewed by Shawon Kinew before Daniel Carpenter praised him for his presentation.