Land-grab universities: expropriated Indigenous land is the foundation of the land-grant university system

“In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which distributed public domain lands to raise funds for fledgling colleges across the nation. . . . The Morrill Act worked by turning land expropriated from tribal nations into seed money for higher education. In all, the act redistributed nearly 11 million acres — an area larger than Massachusetts and Connecticut combined.” Robert Lee and Tristan Ahtone of High Country News describe the project undertaken by the publication in partnership with The Pulitzer Center and the Fund for Investigative Journalism to locate “more than 99% of all Morrill Act acres, identif[y] their original Indigenous inhabitants and caretakers, . . . reconstruct[ing] approximately 10.7 million acres taken from nearly 250 tribes, bands and communities through over 160 violence-backed land cessions. . . . by track[ing down and mapping all of the grants tied to the Morrill Act and overla[ying] them on Indigenous land-cession areas in a geographic information system.” Click here to read the complete article and see the map showing the location of the identified parcels.  Download the full database at the following URL:

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