Episode 1: RT Ravenholt

Download (192 kbps | 58 MB)
Length: 41 minutes 45 seconds

Guest: Reimert Thorolf Ravenholt
Co-op association: Moved in 1944, and lived there 4 or 5 years.
Hosts: Charles Lehnen & Maxeem Konrardy (Jilla Nadimi may be heard in the background)
Show Notes:
Ravenholt’s personal web site: https://ravenholt.com

Few years have mattered more in the history of U.S. real estate than 1862. In May, Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which offered farmland to settlers willing to occupy it for five years. Six weeks later came the Pacific Railway Act, which subsidized the Transcontinental Railroad with checkerboard-shaped grants. The very next day, on July 2, 1862, Lincoln signed “An Act donating Public Lands to the several States and Territories which may provide Colleges for the Benefit of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts.” Contemporaries called it the Agricultural College Act. Historians prefer the Morrill Act, after the law’s sponsor.

“You can point to every treaty where there’s some kind of fraud, where there’s some kind of coercion going on, or they’re taking advantage of some extreme poverty or something like that so they can purchase the land at rock bottom prices,” said Jameson Sweet (Lakota/Dakota), assistant professor in the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University. “That kind of coercion and fraud was always present in every treaty.”


In today’s updated narratives, it’s important to mention that the University of Minnesota was created with the help of land grants established by Abraham Lincoln. These ruthlessly broke treaties and attempted to strip rights away from the native Dakota, whose home and holy places reside on and around the rivers here, and have for countless thousands of years.

When the Students Coop was founded within the fraternity row (or Greek houses) some decades after the University of Minnesota was founded, it was within this colonial society whose poorer members always struggle for grounding. The Midland Cooperatives were associated with the struggle to get opportunity for what we might call the working class within the colonizing supremacist force that deliberately displaced (and attempted to genocide) the people who belong to the area.

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