Fireside Reading Series: Martin Case
The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became U.S. Property
This season, we’re asking our Fireside authors to talk about what “home” means to them. Our goal is to complement the citywide conversation happening this winter as part of Read Brave Saint Paul, an intergenerational reading program whose 2019 theme is housing.
About the Book:
The story of “western expansion” is a familiar one: U.S. government agents, through duplicity and force, persuaded Native Americans to sign treaties that gave away their rights to the land. But this framing, argues Case, hides a deeper story. Land cession treaties were essentially the act of supplanting indigenous kinship relationships to the land with a property relationship. And property is the organizing principle upon which U.S. society is based. Taking Minnesota as a case study, Case describes the groups that shaped U.S. treaty making to further their own interests: interpreters, traders, land speculators, bureaucrats, officeholders, missionaries, and mining, timber, and transportation companies. Odds are, the deed to the land under your home rests on this system.
About the Author:
Case is afreelance researcher and writer and was a key participant in the development of Why Treaties Matter, a collaboration of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Smithsonian Institute. His work challenges the “master narrative” that shapes many assumptions about U.S. history and identity. He has also worked as Director of Development and Planning for a state-wide arts organization, and as writing and planning consultant to 45 widely diverse organizations in the fields of art, culture, education, social service, religion, and politics.
About the Series
With cookies in one hand and coffee in the other, enjoy six weeks of free readings at Hamline Midway Library. The Fireside Reading Series, one of The Friends’ oldest and most popular events, annually highlights the work of some of Minnesota’s finest writers who have published a new work in the previous year. Programs are accompanied by coffee, cider, cookies, and book signings. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Full Fireside Series
Wednesday, January 23
Sarah Stonich, Laurentian Divide
Wednesday, January 30
Wang Ping, Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and Mississippi
Wednesday, February 6
Gary Eldon Peter, Oranges
Wednesday, February 13
Heid E. Erdrich & Gwen Westerman, New Poets of Native Nations
Wednesday, February 20
Martin Case, The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became U.S. Property
Wednesday, February 27
Karen Babine, All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer