Culture & Identity:


What is Indigenous St. Louis and why don't we know about it? And who is the "we" who doesn't know? In this course, we will study Indigenous presence in St. Louis and how Indigenous geographies overlap and coexist in tension with settler-colonial geographies. While St. Louis began as a French colonial settlement, established by fur traders in 1764, the lands that the city occupied were and continue to be Native lands. What we call St. Louis was a geography shared by many Indigenous peoples. The region was a major urban center between the 11th and 14th centuries-today referred to as Cahokia. It then became a territory shared by many tribes, including Ni Okaska (Osage), Niúachi (Missouria), Illiniwek (Illinois Confederacy), and others. In the nineteenth century, some of these tribes were coerced into leaving their homelands and sent to reservations in Indian Territory (also known as Oklahoma). A century later, St. Louis was one of the urban centers where Indigenous people were relocated as part of an effort to break up tribes and the reservation system. And today Indigenous peoples from all over the continent inhabit St. Louis as a place of family, friendships, community, of livelihoods, education, and creative practices; but also, as a place of contestation, as a city structured by systems of domination, such as race and class, and Indigenous erasure. Loosely following this historical timeline, we will study how this erasure happened and engage with different sources to study St. Louis as an ongoing Indigenous place and space.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU BA; AS HUM; AS SD I; FA HUM; AR HUM; FA CPSC

Section 01

Culture & Identity:
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