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Building UD from Indigenous Lands: The Making of a Land-Grant University

Building UD from Indigenous Lands: The Making of a Land-Grant University
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Morris Library, Class of 1941 Lecture Room
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There are 34 seats available.

About this Event

The Morrill Act of 1862 formed the nation's first land-grant universities. Ratified by President Lincoln, the act supplied public land to one university in each state. These universities sold this land to fund their educational programs in agriculture and the mechanical arts.

The University of Delaware became a land-grant university in 1867, when it was then known as Delaware College. This designation not only granted the University 90,000 acres of public land, which it sold for a profit, but it also allowed the college to reopen after being shuttered for nearly a decade. This land could not have been claimed nor sold by Delaware College without the previous expropriation and dispossession of Indigenous lands.

Join doctoral student Maureen Iplenski to discuss the benefits that the University accrued through the sale of Indigenous lands, along with the process through which the University exploited these lands. As the University continues to celebrate the Morrill Act for supporting "groundbreaking agricultural and ecological research," there is a call among students, faculty and Indigenous communities for the institution to redress and acknowledge that its early operations were funded through violent acts of dispossession.

Maureen Iplenski is a doctoral student in the Department of History and the Museum Studies Program at the University of Delaware. She is a graduate assistant for the American Indian and Indigenous Relations Committee at UD.

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