Broken Lands is a podcast series bringing together the voices of Native Americans and settlers to reflect on the effects of treaty violation, the meaning of reparations, and the possibility of a future in which we live well together. Broken Lands was inspired by the Duluth Reparations offered by the Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe in the amount of $185400 + $100 + $1100. This gift was made in an effort to begin repairing the relationships that have been damaged and trust that has been breached. The amount of the gift was chosen to acknowledge the treaties of 1854, 1855, and 1866; treaties that outline rights, responsibilities and obligations for all of us who live together here in Northeastern Minnesota on these broken lands.

Season 1

The Rev. Matt McWaters is chairperson of the finance committee that recommended to the Northeastern Minnesota Synod Council of the ELCA to offer reparations to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Our host, Dr. Rev'd Matthew Cobb, asks Pastor McWaters about the motivating factors behind that decision and what it felt like in the room when that decision was made. They also delve into the theological basis behind offering reparations, and how Pastor McWaters' enthusiasm for this decision is informed by a deep connection to both land and scripture that he has experienced throughout his life.

Listen now or read transcript here.

If we are looking at repairing our relationships, what do we do with Thanksgiving? How does the holiday's popular mythology obscure the realities of our history, and how do these misleading myths get in the way of connecting with one another and our Creator?  Host Matt Cobb gets into this subject with Kevin Kot, Ojibwe elder and member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Kevin is also the American Indian Education Coordinator for the Carlton School District in Minnesota. Kevin shares some of the harmful aspects of the Thanksgiving Myth, which he shares with his students and how he directs them to start thinking about American history in more accurate ways. Matt and Kevin also talk about how different interpretations of the Christian faith can both negatively or positively impact how settlers and Native Americans can live together.

Listen now or read transcript here.

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