Garret Zastoupil (University of Wisconsin)
Regenerative Communities, Settler Colonialism, Decolonial Futures in North Dakota Coal Country
In the 1970s, the North Plains experienced rapid industrial development through the emergence of coal mining and power production. This growth was precipitated by increased demand on rural electrical cooperatives driven by the dual pressures of suburbanization and industrialized farming. This presentation will present a portion of a study examining how rural residents are (or are not) creating post-coal futures and enacting a just transition on the Northern Plains.
Jess Shoemaker (Professor, UNL) and Anthony Schutz (Professor, UNL)
The Rural Reconciliation Project
This presentation will explore how a reckoning and reconciliation framework might inform broader work on the future of rural people and places, which are now often situated on the losing side of a perceived rural/urban divide. This divide is frequently imagined as situating significant social, economic, political, and racial differences along geographic lines, and dialogue about these differences tend to take on a universalized sense of gospel, without enough room for more nuanced and complex questions about the past, present, and future of rural landscapes and communities.
(Moderator: Peter Longo)
Part of the Reckoning & Reconciliation on the Great Plains summit.
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[00:00:00.085](warm acoustic guitar music)
[00:00:05.500]Hi, I'm Peter Longo at the University of Nebraska-Kearney,
[00:00:09.340]I'm the moderator,
[00:00:11.570]and I will acknowledge Garret Zastoupil.
[00:00:15.737]Did I say that right, Garret?
[00:00:17.960]Who is a specialist in human ecology,
[00:00:23.070]civil society community research.
[00:00:26.209]And then we've got the Professor Jessica Shoemaker,
[00:00:30.850]who is the Steinhart Foundation
[00:00:32.550]Distinguished Professor of Law
[00:00:34.220]at the University of Nebraska College of Law.
[00:00:37.170]And then we have Professor Anthony Schutz
[00:00:40.870]who is also the associate dean for faculty
[00:00:44.240]at the University of Nebraska College of Law
[00:00:47.280]Those are our three panelists,
[00:00:49.170]and I will sit back and admit people
[00:00:52.920]as they try to get on the panel.
[00:00:57.130]So thank you, panelists, for giving up your time
[00:01:00.860]and we look forward to your insights.
[00:01:07.240]Well, good afternoon, everyone.
[00:01:08.370]My name's Garret Zastoupil,
[00:01:09.920]I'm a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,
[00:01:13.470]and I'll be starting as an assistant professor
[00:01:15.600]of sustainable rural development
[00:01:17.110]at Northland College this fall.
[00:01:19.790]So y'all are getting kind of
[00:01:21.260]the last part of the dissertation,
[00:01:25.040]as far as today's presentation goes.
[00:01:27.690]Today I'll be sharing a little bit
[00:01:28.680]about my own dissertation work in North Dakota
[00:01:30.990]that's community engaged,
[00:01:32.550]looking at the decline of the coal industry
[00:01:34.670]and how it relates to our themes
[00:01:36.450]around settler colonialism and decolonial futures.
[00:01:42.250]To give you all a sense of the region that I'm looking at,
[00:01:45.760]I'm in the Northern Great Plains
[00:01:48.250]with three particular counties
[00:01:49.760]located around the Missouri River,
[00:01:51.390]so McLean, Mercer, and Oliver.
[00:01:54.060]Broadly, these counties are shaped
[00:01:55.630]by their relationship on the Missouri River and its damming.
[00:01:59.730]It is considered the traditional homelands
[00:02:01.300]of the Mandan, Hidasta, and Arikara Nations,
[00:02:04.810]and has been colonized
[00:02:07.010]by primarily Eastern European immigrants,
[00:02:09.450]Germans, from Russia, Scandinavians, and Ukrainians,
[00:02:11.920]so Northern Europeans as well.
[00:02:13.990]It is majority racially white,
[00:02:16.610]though there is a fairly significant population
[00:02:19.290]of American Indians because Fort Berthold Reservation
[00:02:22.640]is located partially within two of the counties.
[00:02:27.490]My particular project, though,
[00:02:29.640]is looking at how folks are responding
[00:02:32.980]to the decline of the coal industry.
[00:02:34.420]So I began this project in 2019
[00:02:38.330]hearing that there were rumors
[00:02:39.800]because of both federal regulation
[00:02:42.030]as well as the economics of the energy industry
[00:02:46.640]that coal is closing.
[00:02:47.840]We knew what it was closing in Appalachia and the East,
[00:02:50.190]and it's now coming to the American West,
[00:02:52.930]primarily the Western Great Plains,
[00:02:55.740]So North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana,
[00:02:58.940]and down into Colorado and New Mexico.
[00:03:03.300]Coal-based electricity began in our region
[00:03:06.090]in the 1970s primarily,
[00:03:08.820]driven by both increasing suburbanization
[00:03:11.890]in the kind of Eastern Great Plains
[00:03:14.030]as well as on the West Coast
[00:03:15.470]with demands for increased electricity
[00:03:17.850]along with post-1973 Arab oil crisis federal energy policy.
[00:03:24.620]So we saw the federal government really invest
[00:03:26.400]in the development of coal-based electricity
[00:03:28.550]in this part of the country rather than Appalachia.
[00:03:31.320]Within North Dakota, the coal industry
[00:03:34.790]employs roughly 3000 workers directly,
[00:03:37.990]they'll claim around 9,000 indirect workers,
[00:03:40.920]and the wages are incredibly high for rural communities.
[00:03:45.120]So a recent study that was released this past fall
[00:03:48.960]found that coworkers are averaging
[00:03:51.090]between 150 and $160,000 a year.
[00:03:56.310]And if folks here know rural communities you'll know that,
[00:03:59.420]one, that is a lot of money in general,
[00:04:01.520]but two, particularly in rural places,
[00:04:03.390]that is an exceptionally high wage.
[00:04:06.250]So I began this project in 2019
[00:04:09.760]under this kind of question of what is happening,
[00:04:11.700]how are people preparing for the end of the coal industry?
[00:04:14.910]And midway through the project in May of 2020,
[00:04:18.840]it was announced that Great River Energy,
[00:04:20.530]which services Greater Minnesota,
[00:04:22.780]primarily the Twin Cities suburbs,
[00:04:24.370]was closing the largest coal power plant in North Dakota.
[00:04:27.580]So this created a frenzy in the state
[00:04:30.290]of both local policies being enacted
[00:04:32.590]as well as state policies.
[00:04:34.830]People were in crisis, for lack of a better term,
[00:04:37.440]and it set the stage
[00:04:38.370]for this really interesting research project,
[00:04:40.860]which is asking the question
[00:04:42.430]of how are rural people envisioning a new future
[00:04:46.800]outside of these extractive relationships, if at all?
[00:04:50.020]So that was really my question going into this.
[00:04:52.340]And I used the framing
[00:04:53.550]of this kind of scholarly and activist discourse
[00:04:56.810]known as the just transition to frame it.
[00:04:58.980]So the just transition is this notion
[00:05:00.540]that the we're moving away from a fossil fuel-based economy
[00:05:03.620]towards a green economy, whatever that looks like,
[00:05:06.880]and it's asking this question
[00:05:07.900]of what does justice look like in this transition?
[00:05:11.190]Is it just justice for people who are impacted directly
[00:05:14.780]by the closure of the fossil fuel industry,
[00:05:17.840]so we need to replace coal jobs with wind and solar jobs,
[00:05:21.470]or is there a bigger question about justice
[00:05:23.530]within the way we think about energy and energy consumption
[00:05:26.640]that needs to be accounted for,
[00:05:28.060]especially with frontline climate communities,
[00:05:30.160]communities that are low income
[00:05:32.910]and will be impacted by the costs in this transition?
[00:05:37.040]There's also some more radical approaches
[00:05:38.860]that are really saying this is the time
[00:05:40.210]to continue to reimagine the economy
[00:05:43.140]as part of this transition,
[00:05:44.270]it's not enough to just kind of keep green capitalism going.
[00:05:47.880]So my approach to this inquiry
[00:05:49.970]has largely been a case study approach
[00:05:52.210]alongside a community-based research approach.
[00:05:54.720]So I've been working with a grassroots
[00:05:56.290]organizing group on the Plains
[00:05:58.790]that's been focused on trying to mobilize people
[00:06:00.700]to respond to the decline of the coal industry.
[00:06:04.140]Additionally, I've used this theory,
[00:06:05.760]and I won't get too in depth into this, called transduction.
[00:06:09.240]It's coming out of the emancipatory social sciences.
[00:06:12.070]And really it gave me the space to begin to articulate,
[00:06:15.320]okay, so if know, what rural development looks like now,
[00:06:18.920]which I call neoliberal rural development,
[00:06:21.490]what would a regenerative rural development look like
[00:06:23.970]in which people actually get to have control
[00:06:26.070]over the futures of their communities,
[00:06:28.730]that grounds wellbeing in the community
[00:06:33.570]rather than profit maximization?
[00:06:36.540]So I created this particular model,
[00:06:39.580]if y'all have questions about it, I'm happy to share more,
[00:06:42.170]but really I try to draw out this comparison
[00:06:44.380]between kind of our dominant
[00:06:45.820]rural development policies and practices,
[00:06:49.250]both as it relates to for-profit businesses,
[00:06:51.560]the government, civil society or nonprofit organizations,
[00:06:54.630]and our relationships to the natural environment,
[00:06:57.100]as well as what a regenerative,
[00:07:00.020]more care-based approach would look like.
[00:07:05.230]As part of this project,
[00:07:06.330]I've also worked alongside this group
[00:07:08.300]called the Dakota Resource Councils.
[00:07:09.890]I don't believe there's a work org in Nebraska,
[00:07:12.660]but there's one in South Dakota
[00:07:14.040]and Wyoming and Montana as well.
[00:07:16.070]And they were founded in the 1970s
[00:07:18.540]to protest large-scale development,
[00:07:21.290]both industrial agriculture as well as energy in the Plains.
[00:07:25.070]And today that still is their ethos,
[00:07:26.840]so they're trying to organize to imagine
[00:07:28.870]what does a just post-coal future look like?
[00:07:34.030]Once again, data collection slide.
[00:07:36.690]It's a case study approach
[00:07:37.970]that's involved a lot of different types of data.
[00:07:40.910]The data sources that you see highlighted
[00:07:42.770]are the ones that were really done in tandem with DRC,
[00:07:45.780]the rest were more kind of classic academic approaches.
[00:07:49.870]And what I found, and what I think is going to be
[00:07:51.930]particularly relevant for our time together today,
[00:07:55.390]is broadly a movement away from fossil fuels,
[00:07:59.600]from coal, from this kind of extractive economy
[00:08:02.080]on the Northern Plains is being resisted.
[00:08:06.260]I don't think that should necessarily surprise anyone,
[00:08:09.740]but what I found is that it's being resisted
[00:08:12.350]in really kind of specific ways
[00:08:14.840]that I don't think we've fully grappled with yet
[00:08:18.580]as both scholars and organizers
[00:08:20.370]and folks that are interested in the Northern Plains.
[00:08:23.100]At the same time, there is some hope
[00:08:24.810]for this regenerative future that could emerge
[00:08:27.270]that's based kind of in the history of the Plains
[00:08:29.940]as well as the future.
[00:08:32.120]So I'll jump into kind of the two barriers
[00:08:34.420]that I've identified as well as the hope
[00:08:36.700]and wrap up with the remaining time that I have.
[00:08:40.600]So the first couple chapters
[00:08:42.270]of the substantive portion of my dissertation
[00:08:45.990]are really making the case
[00:08:47.500]that we haven't fully grappled with the history
[00:08:50.990]and realities of settler colonialism on the Plains
[00:08:53.960]as we understand our relationship
[00:08:55.950]to the political economy and the natural environment.
[00:08:58.970]So I have an entire chapter that is the history
[00:09:01.600]of industrial development on the Plains,
[00:09:04.130]and I look specifically
[00:09:05.580]at the post-World War II to current era
[00:09:09.100]to look at how this large-scale development
[00:09:12.150]that's grounded in extraction has emerged,
[00:09:14.450]and the relationships of extracting value
[00:09:16.510]from commodities on the Plains,
[00:09:18.340]whether it's wheat or fur or coal,
[00:09:21.430]has served urban capital that's located elsewhere.
[00:09:24.990]As part of that,
[00:09:26.000]I connect that to the ongoing displacement
[00:09:29.200]of Indigenous people on the Plains
[00:09:32.550]and how those two things
[00:09:33.650]are inherently linked with each other.
[00:09:36.310]And I make kind of this broad argument
[00:09:39.200]that we see three ways at which settler colonialism
[00:09:42.050]is really framing our relationship to what,
[00:09:46.310]I think settlers, I'm gonna speak as a settler,
[00:09:48.910]what settlers see as possible
[00:09:50.880]and as part of the everyday life of settlers on the Plains.
[00:09:53.450]So I'm gonna clarify that a little bit,
[00:09:55.160]that was very academicy.
[00:09:57.810]So first, what I noticed is that there's a culture
[00:10:00.610]in the everyday life of community members in coal country
[00:10:04.280]based in Lewis and Clark
[00:10:06.840]that really kind of promotes this notion
[00:10:08.650]of manifest destiny and settler domination of the Plains
[00:10:12.570]and the erasure of Indigenous people and their history.
[00:10:15.300]I use some of the work from Jean O'Brien
[00:10:17.070]at the University of Minnesota
[00:10:18.520]who talks about firsting narratives
[00:10:20.680]to make this argument that Lewis and Clark
[00:10:23.040]provides a firsting narrative for settlers
[00:10:24.910]to claim domination over this space.
[00:10:29.760]I take this a step further
[00:10:31.640]and I make an ideological argument
[00:10:35.200]drawing from some kind of Indigenous Marxist theory
[00:10:38.080]that talks about relationships to the land
[00:10:40.960]as an accumulation by dispossession.
[00:10:43.480]So it builds off this central notion
[00:10:45.270]that as we moved into an industrial society,
[00:10:49.450]folks became disconnected,
[00:10:50.540]workers became disconnected from the land, right?
[00:10:54.570]It's often thought of as a one-time process.
[00:10:57.390]Settler colonial studies and theories
[00:10:59.950]coming from our Indigenous colleagues
[00:11:02.040]are saying this is ongoing.
[00:11:03.950]We're continuing to remove people from the land
[00:11:06.750]so we can extract value from it,
[00:11:09.150]and it's done through the dispossession
[00:11:11.480]of Indigenous people.
[00:11:13.470]And I think what I found was that with the coal industry,
[00:11:16.220]that is so deeply part of the logic
[00:11:19.890]that is really challenging for folks
[00:11:21.630]to move beyond that kind of ideology
[00:11:24.160]of removing people from the land.
[00:11:26.770]And then last I make the argument
[00:11:27.910]that this then happens materially.
[00:11:29.230]So we see this through kind of the extractive industries
[00:11:31.640]that are present on the Plains.
[00:11:33.680]In coal country, it's industrial agriculture
[00:11:35.800]and the coal industry itself.
[00:11:38.000]So that is kind of finding one.
[00:11:41.120]Finding two is saying,
[00:11:43.740]this then plays out in really the everyday life
[00:11:47.090]of people who live in coal country.
[00:11:49.930]I use the phrase uncritical consciousness
[00:11:52.180]to talk about what the impact has been.
[00:11:54.840]And really what I have found
[00:11:56.530]is that folks within coal country
[00:11:59.120]have taken this Lewis and Clark ideology,
[00:12:02.110]they've kind of abandoned their own settler ethnicity,
[00:12:06.100]so those German, Russian identities,
[00:12:07.930]and have replaced it with an identity based in industry.
[00:12:11.860]Similar studies have found this in Appalachia,
[00:12:14.550]but I think this is the first
[00:12:15.670]that's really putting this forward on the Plains
[00:12:17.930]where we see local businesses, astroturfs,
[00:12:21.460]so kind of civil society organizations
[00:12:23.330]that are sponsored by the industry,
[00:12:25.080]local institutions embrace this identity of coal
[00:12:28.640]that has made it really challenging to say,
[00:12:31.460]okay, well, what would a future look like outside of coal?
[00:12:35.900]At the same time through interviews
[00:12:37.150]that I've done with folks on the ground,
[00:12:40.400]I've had multiple participants say things like,
[00:12:42.710]well, you know, I could never say this publicly
[00:12:45.540]because I would be ostracized by my neighbors,
[00:12:47.610]but I'm afraid for the future of our community.
[00:12:50.090]And that has really shaped the ability
[00:12:52.130]for us to do good organizing and development work
[00:12:55.610]when people are afraid to even say,
[00:12:57.120]this is what I think could be different,
[00:12:58.460]or these are my concerns about the future,
[00:13:01.380]because the local community is so grounded,
[00:13:04.390]not only in this broader relationship of extraction,
[00:13:07.160]but in this really particular understanding
[00:13:09.390]of we are coal country, we are a coal family,
[00:13:12.450]that's a term that gets used,
[00:13:14.200]and we can't imagine a future here outside of this.
[00:13:19.670]So I'll wrap up with the last slide,
[00:13:22.360]which is despite these kind of dual phenomenon occurring
[00:13:26.190]at which coal and extractive relationships
[00:13:28.490]are being reinforced,
[00:13:30.080]I identified some organizations that are actually pushing
[00:13:35.460]for a regenerative future on the Plains.
[00:13:37.520]So on the one side we see
[00:13:39.100]the longstanding institutions from our populous history,
[00:13:43.280]particularly University Extension and Farmers Union,
[00:13:48.150]continuing to push the possibilities
[00:13:50.470]of cooperative associations on the Plains
[00:13:52.670]and imagining what a cooperative economy could look like,
[00:13:57.100]which was really exciting.
[00:13:58.240]They've had a really hard time
[00:13:59.680]breaking into coal country in particular,
[00:14:01.920]but there's been an infrastructure that's been built
[00:14:04.340]in the last kind of decade
[00:14:06.260]that's saying, okay, rural development
[00:14:08.270]of recruiting external folks,
[00:14:10.630]external companies has not worked,
[00:14:12.660]entrepreneurship hasn't really worked for us,
[00:14:14.970]so what about something in the middle
[00:14:16.880]where we bring local people together
[00:14:18.830]to build a cooperatively-owned enterprise?
[00:14:22.070]We've also seen grassroots groups emerge
[00:14:24.500]that have really challenged
[00:14:25.510]the dominance of the energy industry.
[00:14:27.920]Importantly, the most powerful organization in North Dakota
[00:14:32.240]is Fort Berthold POWER which is an Indigenous-led movement
[00:14:35.200]that is using the language of the just transition.
[00:14:37.870]So not merely saying let's move our electrical cooperatives
[00:14:40.570]from coal-based and natural gas electricity
[00:14:43.440]to wind like FM C.L.E.A.N., but really saying,
[00:14:46.240]what would a future outside of fossil fuels look like,
[00:14:49.440]and how does that expand beyond
[00:14:51.170]just substituting one energy source for another?
[00:14:56.390]And so that's kind of where
[00:14:57.610]I'm leaving this project right now,
[00:14:59.470]is that there are these organizations
[00:15:01.750]that are doing really great and important work,
[00:15:05.360]but there's a lot of barriers present.
[00:15:08.110]So, with that, I will wrap up.
[00:15:10.790]Peter, I think I'm just out of time.
[00:15:12.473]Yeah, you did great, Garret.
[00:15:14.860]So, either Jessica or Anthony,
[00:15:21.880]you wanna flip a coin?
[00:15:26.000]We're actually co-presenting, Peter,
[00:15:27.550]we're just one presentation and two people, so.
[00:15:30.320]Oh, so you're gonna alternate every other sentence.
[00:15:33.560]Word, we are gonna go every other word.
[00:15:35.090]Every other word, okay.
[00:15:36.230]Well that's amazing, you two-
[00:15:38.821]That's how our brains work. (laughs)
[00:15:41.090]You're so talented!
[00:15:42.670]Okay, have at it.
[00:15:44.850]So I think, Jess, are you gonna share the slides?
[00:15:50.070]Does that look right?
[00:15:52.320]I think it's, there it is.
Okay, does that look right?
[00:15:58.120]So, Jess and I are here to sort of give an overview
[00:16:01.220]of this project that we've been working on for,
[00:16:03.850]I guess it's been almost two years now,
[00:16:05.280]the Rural Reconciliation Project.
[00:16:07.899]And so Jess and I are law professors
[00:16:10.480]and we have this sort of shared interest in agriculture,
[00:16:14.480]and more broadly, rural places.
[00:16:16.820]And so we've been working together for a long time,
[00:16:19.450]and I think, I don't know
[00:16:21.000]if it's the confluence of time or what,
[00:16:22.960]but we sort of got to a place in our careers
[00:16:24.870]where we looked at the world and said,
[00:16:26.000]you know, there's something that we need
[00:16:28.892]and there's something that maybe
[00:16:29.940]we need to burn down a little bit.
[00:16:31.240]So we started the Rural Reconciliation Project as a way of,
[00:16:37.220]I guess leveraging that common concern for rural places,
[00:16:41.550]a common interest in agriculture and created this.
[00:16:44.890]There's a website that's sort of reflective
[00:16:46.960]of the project itself.
[00:16:48.610]The project extends, of course, well beyond this website,
[00:16:51.030]but the website is a nice sort of gateway
[00:16:52.670]into the overall operation of what we're doing.
[00:16:59.970]So just in terms of being a law professor
[00:17:02.260]and being in in a law school trying to teach and research,
[00:17:05.430]the things that we work with, fundamentally,
[00:17:08.220]are products of social forces
[00:17:10.590]that are often filtered through political process,
[00:17:12.790]which is to say that the study of law and its policy
[00:17:16.410]is very difficult absent familiarity with other disciplines,
[00:17:19.550]and there's a lot of opportunity there
[00:17:21.870]to do sort of great work
[00:17:25.360]outside of, I guess, the silo that we find ourselves in,
[00:17:28.030]if we can even think of it that way.
[00:17:30.290]And so that too led us into this project.
[00:17:36.360]And so our idea is that we can hopefully draw together
[00:17:39.000]the work of people in lots of other disciplines,
[00:17:41.750]drawn together really by this common concern
[00:17:44.220]for rural places.
[00:17:45.830]I think it's really sort of the place that draws us in.
[00:17:50.110]So we created this website, ruralreconcile.org.
[00:17:53.700]It's really sort of a reflection
[00:17:55.040]of the work that we're doing.
[00:17:56.740]There's two sort of main components
[00:17:58.690]associated with with the website.
[00:18:01.090]One piece of it is the Rural Review,
[00:18:03.150]and that's kind of the publication component
[00:18:05.300]of what we're doing.
[00:18:06.830]We try through the Rural Review to bring to this website
[00:18:11.680]work from many different disciplines,
[00:18:13.547]and so we'll talk about that here in a few slides.
[00:18:18.150]And then we also organize programming,
[00:18:20.730]and the programming that we've had
[00:18:22.040]over the last couple of years
[00:18:23.340]has been focused on a variety of different topics
[00:18:26.530]with the most recent being
[00:18:28.060]the broad umbrella of infrastructure.
[00:18:30.680]So the website is a nice reflection of what we're doing.
[00:18:33.840]If you go to the second slide, Jess.
[00:18:37.610]I'll try, there we go.
[00:18:39.800]So, big picture, right?
[00:18:41.500]This is sort of a reflection of the,
[00:18:44.010]I don't know if we really wanna say burn it down,
[00:18:45.970]but the idea is that we're not
[00:18:49.730]sort of shying away from the idea
[00:18:51.010]that maybe we need to be
[00:18:52.050]quite sort of fundamentally disruptive
[00:18:54.460]in terms of how we are treating
[00:18:57.770]or using rural places or that landscape.
[00:19:02.320]And Jess's history with Native American law
[00:19:04.930]and Indigenous law and policy,
[00:19:07.660]really it helped in this regard
[00:19:10.040]because she brought the idea of reconciliation.
[00:19:12.590]And Jess, she's a much better scholar than me.
[00:19:14.930]I'm more of a like, lawyer-lawyer,
[00:19:17.950]sort of mechanic sort of person,
[00:19:19.420]but Jess has the big ideas that are helpful
[00:19:22.750]and are really driving this thing.
[00:19:25.010]And so Jess brought this idea of reconciliation to it,
[00:19:27.680]and she'll talk a little bit more
[00:19:28.900]about how reconciliation sort of does and maybe doesn't fit
[00:19:32.100]with what we're trying to do.
[00:19:35.120]The next slide is a nice reflection,
[00:19:39.880]one of our earliest speakers
[00:19:41.330]in one of those programs that we put together, Adam Calo,
[00:19:45.080]put it in really colorful terms
[00:19:47.450]that have sort of stuck with us,
[00:19:49.440]sort of getting away from this milk toast rural renewal
[00:19:52.250]in favor of a rather spicy rural reconciliation.
[00:19:56.100]And I think that's a nice sort of way
[00:19:58.600]of putting what we're doing.
[00:20:00.730]We have all of this stuff that people are doing
[00:20:04.390]in all of these different disciplines,
[00:20:06.450]many of them want to talk about law and policy
[00:20:08.720]and we want to talk about law and policy,
[00:20:10.240]but we need the facts
[00:20:11.960]and all of the other data involved,
[00:20:14.590]and so there's a great opportunity, I think,
[00:20:17.200]for people to come together and work.
[00:20:18.770]So with that, I'll turn it over to Jess.
[00:20:20.630]She'll talk more about reconciliation in principle
[00:20:23.810]and then we'll go into some of the things
[00:20:25.810]that we've done in both programming
[00:20:27.810]and in the publication sphere,
[00:20:30.210]specifically with that digest.
[00:20:32.830]Great, thanks so much, Anthony.
[00:20:35.730]It's fun to do this project with you
[00:20:37.350]and fun to get to talk about it with this group.
[00:20:40.670]I think Anthony made clear from kind of the outset
[00:20:44.010]that there's some real intention
[00:20:46.340]in the choices that we've made
[00:20:48.560]in terms of how we're framing the project.
[00:20:51.240]One is that it's a project,
[00:20:52.930]not like a center or an institute or something like that.
[00:20:56.440]Not that there aren't great things
[00:20:57.650]with centers and institutes,
[00:20:58.910]but that we wanted to be very sort of active and flexible
[00:21:03.550]in the sense of this can go in different ways,
[00:21:06.390]but really the sense of sort of convening.
[00:21:08.550]And also in that sort of first slide that Anthony showed
[00:21:14.810]with like this is radical and disruptive,
[00:21:17.990]just to kind of push on that a bit more,
[00:21:20.170]I just wanna set the stage
[00:21:21.870]and then I'm gonna talk about why we chose reconciliation
[00:21:24.010]as kind of the middle part of our project name.
[00:21:28.020]And that is the sense of it seems that
[00:21:30.540]there's our kind of anecdotal or sort of atmospheric read
[00:21:35.150]of the kind of conversations around rural-urban divide
[00:21:38.350]or rural decline or rural futures
[00:21:40.790]was this sort of sense of like rural communities
[00:21:43.360]should just kind of pull themselves up by their bootstraps
[00:21:45.830]and this sort of sense of like a nostalgic ideal
[00:21:48.010]of what rural used to be,
[00:21:50.380]without a really critical assessment of where we are now
[00:21:54.527]and really kind of intention
[00:21:55.920]about where we might wanna go forward,
[00:21:58.340]which may not be back to where we used to be, right?
[00:22:02.320]And so part of the main aim of our project
[00:22:06.220]was to, as Anthony said,
[00:22:07.780]kind of bring these different people
[00:22:09.510]working in different silos
[00:22:10.890]or different languages or different disciplines,
[00:22:13.640]different community members, different activists,
[00:22:17.160]bringing these different ideas together in one place,
[00:22:19.670]but with the real sense of honesty.
[00:22:22.660]Including honesty that may include
[00:22:24.620]answers that we don't like
[00:22:26.370]or answers that aren't what we were looking for
[00:22:28.580]or just answers that rural communities face
[00:22:31.390]some real hard challenges,
[00:22:33.570]and some sort of rigor in how we think critically
[00:22:37.020]about how we got here and also where we're going.
[00:22:40.310]And so with that kind of sense of like,
[00:22:42.790]let's just be really honest here,
[00:22:45.060]let's be rigorous and critical
[00:22:46.360]and think hard about what's happening,
[00:22:48.970]led us to this idea of, well, maybe this is something
[00:22:52.480]that would benefit from a reconciliation frame.
[00:22:55.260]And as Anthony said,
[00:22:57.530]well, I dunno if he gave you this much detail,
[00:22:59.050]but some of my work is on Indigenous land tenure
[00:23:01.677]and Indigenous land claims,
[00:23:03.200]both before I was a law professor
[00:23:05.220]when I was a practicing attorney
[00:23:06.760]and in my scholarship since.
[00:23:09.430]And I had actually just come back from Canada
[00:23:12.210]where I spent a year visiting and learning about
[00:23:15.930]the truth and reconciliation process in Canada,
[00:23:18.930]and specifically some of the real challenges
[00:23:21.220]of Indigenous-led land reform and reconciliation
[00:23:24.680]in terms of land rights and land tenure in Canada.
[00:23:28.960]And so we sort of cautiously,
[00:23:31.710]and with some sort of real sensitivity to the fact
[00:23:35.280]that reconciliation may not be the best fit here,
[00:23:39.970]still sort of went boldly
[00:23:42.380]in calling this a reconciliation project.
[00:23:44.800]So let me just say a couple of things about that.
[00:23:48.270]Reconciliation, as we're framing it,
[00:23:51.060]involves a truth-telling,
[00:23:53.550]a sense of here are harms that have occurred
[00:23:56.980]and accounting for responsibility for those harms,
[00:24:00.300]how those harms have accrued,
[00:24:03.170]and a sense of not just kind of a peaceful,
[00:24:07.240]like brushing our hands, like, well, that happened.
[00:24:09.800]But to me, reconciliation really means this active process
[00:24:13.190]of reimagining future relationships and repairing past harms
[00:24:17.740]through apologies and atonement,
[00:24:19.390]but also just really active efforts to build new communities
[00:24:22.380]and be really intentional
[00:24:23.420]about the kinds of respectful relations
[00:24:25.920]we want going forward.
[00:24:27.940]So all of those things seem to fit really well
[00:24:30.770]with our questions about why should we support
[00:24:34.150]rural communities in an increasingly urban world?
[00:24:37.560]Do we care about communities
[00:24:40.600]that have suffered from patterns of extraction?
[00:24:43.900]Do we care about just transitions for those communities?
[00:24:47.890]Social mobility, geographic mobility,
[00:24:50.430]is that a real thing?
[00:24:51.630]Is there economic disparity?
[00:24:53.210]Are there other forms of power differentials
[00:24:55.330]that have geographic ties?
[00:24:57.440]Are those harms that we can identify, put our arms around,
[00:25:01.800]think really critically about, account for them,
[00:25:04.710]and then start to be more intentional
[00:25:06.630]about where we're going?
[00:25:09.230]But, what we wanna be really careful about,
[00:25:11.300]and this is why I sort of put this
[00:25:13.050]excerpt of the language from our website up for you as well,
[00:25:16.700]is that reconciliation,
[00:25:18.950]what we of course do not wanna do in any way
[00:25:21.910]is diminish or try to compare harms, right?
[00:25:24.840]So I think in the context of this summit,
[00:25:28.250]in the context of reconciliation in Canada or Australia
[00:25:30.861]or the kinds of important reconciliation
[00:25:33.320]and reparation efforts
[00:25:34.740]that have to happen in the United States
[00:25:36.390]in terms of racial injustice or Indigenous disposition,
[00:25:40.280]we're not comparing or saying that all rural communities
[00:25:43.850]have faced sort of similar harms.
[00:25:46.910]But, one thing I will say is that the thing
[00:25:49.840]that I think is so fascinating
[00:25:51.630]about thinking about rural communities and rural places
[00:25:54.800]is that by focusing on those lived experiences
[00:25:58.690]that are tethered to a geographic place,
[00:26:02.500]we collect a lot of intersectional identities, right?
[00:26:05.450]People are rural and Indigenous,
[00:26:09.050]they are rural and unemployed,
[00:26:12.000]they are rural and a racial minority or a person of color
[00:26:15.800]who faces discrimination as well.
[00:26:17.920]So in some sense,
[00:26:19.520]we are trying to be sensitive to kind of this duality,
[00:26:22.330]that rural places are places
[00:26:24.800]of these sort of more clearly recognized harms
[00:26:28.250]that fit within a reconciliation framework.
[00:26:30.550]Indigenous dispossession happened
[00:26:32.980]in what are now rural communities,
[00:26:34.700]these are sites of these racial harms.
[00:26:38.290]Agricultural communities were built on racialized slavery,
[00:26:43.300]wealth extraction, all of these things,
[00:26:45.480]that all happened in these places.
[00:26:47.510]So in some sense, there's this piece
[00:26:48.980]of like full truth-telling requires rural responsibility,
[00:26:53.250]but also in the sense of these intersectional identities,
[00:26:57.721]rural geographies are also facing particular economic,
[00:27:00.820]political, and social challenge or harms,
[00:27:03.350]and how do we kind of wrap our head all around that?
[00:27:06.350]So we're embracing the process,
[00:27:08.070]but with a real sort of sense
[00:27:09.980]of sensitivity to how complex it is.
[00:27:14.240]But again, the point is to just really be honest
[00:27:17.150]and account for it,
[00:27:18.090]we have to kind of go into the complexity,
[00:27:20.040]and so that's what we're trying to do.
[00:27:25.670]I think, Anthony, anything you wanna add on reconciliation
[00:27:28.640]or I'll sort of overview the Review?
[00:27:31.260]Yeah, no, I think that was great.
[00:27:33.890]So that's kinda our big picture.
[00:27:35.530]Now, Anthony mentioned that we're trying
[00:27:37.120]to kind of do this in two discreet ways,
[00:27:39.340]or in multiple ways,
[00:27:40.230]but two main ways on our website right now.
[00:27:42.900]So I'm gonna give kind of an overview of this online journal
[00:27:45.970]that we're trying to produce
[00:27:47.460]which we're calling the Rural Review.
[00:27:49.530]You can see a couple of screenshots from the website,
[00:27:52.280]and I did put the website in the chat
[00:27:54.070]so you can access it as well.
[00:27:56.700]So we're just gonna kind of give an overview of the Review,
[00:27:58.490]and then Anthony and I thought we would just kind of do
[00:28:00.640]a little share and tell
[00:28:01.580]and share some of our favorites
[00:28:03.300]of things that have been posted on the Review
[00:28:05.350]to give you just a little sense of what's there,
[00:28:07.760]and then we'll do the same for programs
[00:28:09.750]and then hopefully we'd love to have
[00:28:11.550]a wider conversation too
[00:28:12.730]about where we might go in the future.
[00:28:14.890]So the Rural Review is an online journal
[00:28:18.190]intended to sort of aggregate and disseminate research
[00:28:23.720]that crosses interdisciplinary boundaries
[00:28:26.680]and also kind of media commentary,
[00:28:29.900]popular conversations that are relevant
[00:28:32.120]to this question of where have rural places been,
[00:28:35.520]where are they now, and where are they going in the future?
[00:28:38.630]On the Review,
[00:28:39.463]we have a series of different kinds of things
[00:28:42.640]that we post on a regular basis.
[00:28:45.600]Program events or we post videos
[00:28:49.590]and summaries of the programs.
[00:28:50.760]We'll sort of get to those in a minute.
[00:28:53.010]We also post, basically every other week or so, a roundup.
[00:28:57.400]And by we, I should also acknowledge
[00:28:59.020]we have amazing research assistants.
[00:29:00.630]So Anthony and I do small parts of this,
[00:29:03.020]but a lot of it is attributed
[00:29:04.440]to our wonderful research assistants
[00:29:06.560]who you can read about on the Creators tab as well.
[00:29:09.910]But the roundups are we sort of comb the web,
[00:29:13.290]comb our sort of networks,
[00:29:15.090]people send us stuff to collect,
[00:29:18.310]recent publications, also news items, commentary,
[00:29:22.480]legislative events, events that are happening, recordings,
[00:29:26.240]truly just kind of rounding up rural relevant stuff
[00:29:28.850]to kind of keep the conversation going.
[00:29:31.330]We also do digests, which are our version
[00:29:34.270]of basically like three to five-paragraph
[00:29:36.730]short summaries of recent publications
[00:29:40.160]intended to be accessible across disciplines,
[00:29:42.620]so that me as a law professor can understand and read
[00:29:48.120]agricultural economics or rural sociology or planning
[00:29:51.760]or natural resources, political science,
[00:29:55.300]like the whole sort of range of things
[00:29:56.700]that are rural relevant.
[00:29:58.570]We highlight things that seem timely and important
[00:30:01.780]to kind of start this conversation.
[00:30:04.080]And then we also have a handful of commentary posts,
[00:30:08.960]which are basically like scholarly media or reflections.
[00:30:13.230]Anthony wrote a great one
[00:30:14.390]about how agriculture is not rural,
[00:30:17.940]which was quite provocative
[00:30:19.300]and is really, really interesting
[00:30:20.940]and has gotten lots of reads.
[00:30:22.430]We've had commentary on educational policy,
[00:30:25.490]commentary on political economy in rural America,
[00:30:28.550]lots of interesting things.
[00:30:29.890]And so those are all available on our website
[00:30:31.980]and we update a couple times a week there.
[00:30:34.880]In the spirit of kind of show and tell,
[00:30:36.920]I'm just gonna summarize a couple of my favorite things
[00:30:39.730]just to give you like a little flavor of what's on there.
[00:30:43.300]So this is one digest,
[00:30:45.300]so a short summary of an article
[00:30:47.820]by Kenneth Johnson and Daniel Lichter,
[00:30:50.730]who are demographers who focus on rural America.
[00:30:55.240]This is a recent publication,
[00:30:57.380]the full title of which is like,
[00:31:01.410]and the Urbanization of Rural America"
[00:31:04.110]in a journal called "Demography of America,"
[00:31:08.270]a journal that I as law professor would not otherwise read.
[00:31:11.500]But it's an article that's really stuck with me,
[00:31:13.680]and basically what these demographers do
[00:31:16.710]is look statistically at Census Bureau
[00:31:19.750]and Office of Management and Budget data
[00:31:23.090]and show that, like the numbers are rigged,
[00:31:28.720]would be my summary.
[00:31:30.060]The sense that if you're a rural community
[00:31:32.860]that's really thriving and population is growing,
[00:31:36.690]you get reclassified as urban,
[00:31:39.220]so that by definition and by design,
[00:31:42.090]the counties that remain rural
[00:31:44.190]are the ones that are not growing and thriving
[00:31:46.850]and increasing their population.
[00:31:48.900]And so they assert that there's actually
[00:31:50.470]two stories of rural America,
[00:31:52.150]a story of rural America that is becoming urban,
[00:31:56.820]the urbanization of rural America,
[00:31:58.840]and then a story of rural America
[00:32:00.450]that is not experiencing population growth, right?
[00:32:03.500]And population growth, who knows if that's a metric
[00:32:05.850]that we should pursue or not in various rural places,
[00:32:08.350]but it is an interesting kind of statistical take
[00:32:10.860]on basically how the books are cooked, right?
[00:32:13.610]So this sort of decline is built into the definition
[00:32:16.520]of what is rural.
[00:32:18.860]Another one, I'm just gonna talk about this super briefly.
[00:32:21.180]This is actually a history piece
[00:32:23.130]written by Ryan Driskell Tate
[00:32:25.150]actually related to the dissertation
[00:32:27.170]we just heard about from Garret.
[00:32:28.290]But he tells a story from the 1970s
[00:32:32.890]of this sort of very specific instances
[00:32:36.230]of what he terms rural rebellion,
[00:32:38.550]and tells this really interesting story
[00:32:40.430]of rural protest movements, rural activism,
[00:32:44.550]opposing basically as metropolitan areas expanded
[00:32:47.820]and energy demand grew.
[00:32:50.100]Just like the rebelliousness of rural communities that said,
[00:32:52.860]we don't want these major power lines
[00:32:56.450]through our landscapes, right?
[00:32:58.760]That we're bearing the costs, you're getting the benefit,
[00:33:01.400]this is sort of the story of rural America
[00:33:03.700]and rose up in protest,
[00:33:05.940]and he asserts actually sort of led the way
[00:33:09.070]to an increased kind of rural and urban attention
[00:33:13.470]to green energy transitions
[00:33:15.840]and traces it to this pattern
[00:33:17.210]of rural political participation
[00:33:18.800]that I just think is really super interesting.
[00:33:22.090]This last one, I'll be really quick,
[00:33:23.560]just to highlight an example of a commentary
[00:33:26.290]as opposed to a digest.
[00:33:28.700]Michele Statz is a anthropologist and lawyer
[00:33:33.180]at the University of Minnesota.
[00:33:34.830]She's done this really interesting ethnographic work
[00:33:37.400]on just what it feels like
[00:33:39.110]to be a courtroom participant in Northern Minnesota.
[00:33:43.140]And she makes an argument about kind of the intimacy
[00:33:46.890]of these small general jurisdiction trial courts,
[00:33:50.420]where people know each other,
[00:33:52.240]reference where they went to high school,
[00:33:53.890]judges and litigants,
[00:33:55.360]and what the experience of justice is.
[00:33:57.730]When we think about things like access to justice
[00:33:59.697]and rural communities a lot,
[00:34:01.430]she tells this really provocative story in this article
[00:34:04.100]called "Shared Suffering"
[00:34:05.910]in the "Journal of Law and Society."
[00:34:08.580]We actually had one of the judges
[00:34:10.450]that Dr. Statz interviewed in her ethnographic research
[00:34:14.660]write a reflection on her article for the Review.
[00:34:18.450]And I actually just reread it this morning,
[00:34:20.300]and it's so interesting and good!
[00:34:23.750]So Judge Ackerson, I was making sure I had the name right,
[00:34:28.550]David Ackerson has retired now,
[00:34:30.870]but he was a judge for 36 years
[00:34:32.970]in the same town in Northern Minnesota
[00:34:34.880]where he was born and raised.
[00:34:36.770]And he speaks really eloquently both about urban bias
[00:34:41.290]in law formation and justice conceptions themselves,
[00:34:45.380]says that his experience
[00:34:47.850]was a much more kind of community-oriented problem-solving,
[00:34:52.160]justice first, law later,
[00:34:54.510]and says that this is sort of
[00:34:55.770]not what we learn in law school,
[00:34:57.310]that there's this very different experience
[00:34:58.880]of law and justice in rural places.
[00:35:01.400]And also sort of speaks to the importance
[00:35:04.350]of scholars like Dr. Statz
[00:35:06.270]taking what he knows from anecdotal experience
[00:35:08.610]and he sort of describes it as like making it official
[00:35:12.660]in her published work
[00:35:13.780]by aggregating these different stories,
[00:35:15.980]and it's a really powerful commentary.
[00:35:20.600]So I have through three digests up here on the left,
[00:35:25.290]so the Mueller piece, the Haggerty piece,
[00:35:26.667]and then the Paariberg piece,
[00:35:28.480]and then I have two commentaries up here,
[00:35:30.900]just still in the spirit of show and tell.
[00:35:34.180]But the story I want to sort of tell about these things is,
[00:35:37.941]so I always feel like whenever I get into these pieces
[00:35:41.010]that I'm just dabbling, right?
[00:35:42.620]That I don't really know the research methods,
[00:35:45.200]I don't really have a framework
[00:35:47.490]for critiquing a lot of the things that are put there.
[00:35:52.150]And that's sort of the idea of the Rural Review,
[00:35:54.310]is to expose people to information and methods
[00:35:59.352]that are different from what we find in our home place.
[00:36:02.850]So when I look at these pieces,
[00:36:04.700]specifically the first three pieces,
[00:36:06.310]I see a connection that I think
[00:36:08.790]other folks maybe without a sort of legal background
[00:36:11.370]might not see.
[00:36:12.340]So the first piece, the Mueller piece,
[00:36:14.520]is talking about market concentration in rural areas
[00:36:18.390]and specifically drawing a distinction
[00:36:20.010]between natural resource extractive activities
[00:36:25.210]versus activities that are not as extractive,
[00:36:28.586]that are more sort of experience-based
[00:36:30.770]or things along those lines,
[00:36:32.110]and the analysis is sort of differentiating
[00:36:35.390]between the labor market forces that are play
[00:36:38.090]in those sort of situations.
[00:36:40.190]And so when I look at that I think,
[00:36:42.650]well, what does this have to do
[00:36:43.890]with perhaps the policy development
[00:36:46.050]when we're trying to maybe encourage
[00:36:48.630]economic development in rural areas?
[00:36:50.370]What are the dangers associated
[00:36:51.800]with encouraging a particular type of industry?
[00:36:55.420]So when I look at agriculture,
[00:36:56.900]there's a lot antitrust and market structure forces
[00:37:01.210]that are in play there,
[00:37:02.870]but if I look at tourism or in agritourism
[00:37:06.920]and some of those sorts of things,
[00:37:08.100]maybe they're not as susceptible
[00:37:09.520]to some of the adverse structural impacts
[00:37:14.573]that that can occur with like a captive labor market.
[00:37:19.070]From a contracts perspective,
[00:37:20.620]that's one of the areas that I teach in and think about,
[00:37:23.510]the idea of employee mobility,
[00:37:25.670]which is closely related to this idea
[00:37:28.070]of having a captive workforce,
[00:37:31.000]is an important check on the extent
[00:37:32.880]to which we allow people to sort of extract
[00:37:35.170]through the employment relationship.
[00:37:37.530]And so when we think about a rural area
[00:37:39.790]in the labor market that's in play there,
[00:37:41.930]the opportunities for mobility in employment
[00:37:46.152]are much different than they are in other places.
[00:37:48.770]And so my question is, after reading that piece,
[00:37:51.740]is what does the law do about that
[00:37:53.720]and how does it do it?
[00:37:55.260]Does our system of litigation, at a local level,
[00:37:58.900]does it somehow take this into account?
[00:38:01.490]And so there's lots of other folks
[00:38:02.866]that write about those sorts of things.
[00:38:06.080]So, the employment in the rural areas piece,
[00:38:09.460]the Mueller piece, the market concentration piece,
[00:38:12.090]I thought was interesting.
[00:38:13.240]But then, as I kept moving through the Rural Review,
[00:38:17.950]thinking about what I might say about it
[00:38:19.930]for purposes of this talk,
[00:38:22.350]yeah, I quickly realized that a lot of these things
[00:38:24.760]are connected in ways that I wouldn't have known
[00:38:28.510]had I not been exposed to the pieces
[00:38:31.230]arranged in this way in this particular place.
[00:38:33.660]So the Haggerty piece talks about
[00:38:35.540]local fiscal policy and revenue availability,
[00:38:38.390]and that too is highly influenced by the types of industry
[00:38:42.900]that you have in a particular place.
[00:38:44.770]And so I start to think about, for example,
[00:38:48.020]what sorts of taxation methods are we gonna use
[00:38:50.460]in order to provide services at the local level,
[00:38:53.600]and what sort political power are the folks
[00:38:56.170]that are maybe mentioned in the Mueller piece
[00:38:57.950]as having sort of this captive labor force,
[00:39:00.290]what are they going to be willing to give up
[00:39:03.380]and to what extent ought we call upon
[00:39:05.890]perhaps their employees to help fund those local services?
[00:39:09.240]So that has a big impact on the fiscal tools
[00:39:11.900]that we make available to local governments
[00:39:14.570]as they try to map a course for the future.
[00:39:17.050]And then the third piece,
[00:39:19.300]it's maybe even more unrelated to the other two,
[00:39:22.530]at least in terms of the particular sphere
[00:39:26.420]that the author's writing in,
[00:39:28.800]but it deals with sort of the appetite
[00:39:31.010]for local volunteerism,
[00:39:33.150]which I view as sort of a reflection
[00:39:35.610]of people's willingness to take care of one another, right?
[00:39:39.100]And that willingness to take care of one another,
[00:39:41.290]it's also highly relevant to the sort of fiscal tools
[00:39:44.450]that we make available at the local level.
[00:39:47.600]I mean, at the end of the day, these are all great pieces,
[00:39:49.520]but the thing I wanted to illustrate
[00:39:50.950]is how placing them together
[00:39:54.060]in a kind of cross-disciplinary sort of space
[00:39:58.000]can help people maybe generate ideas
[00:40:00.860]that they otherwise wouldn't have come up with,
[00:40:02.790]that are particularly relevant to their area of expertise
[00:40:05.910]where maybe they feel like they aren't dabbling as much.
[00:40:09.830]With that in mind,
[00:40:11.080]there's also opportunities in the Rural Review
[00:40:14.010]to provide commentary.
[00:40:15.110]And so we see some folks publishing their own thoughts,
[00:40:20.120]and thoughts like this sort of group together.
[00:40:23.010]So Annie Eisenberg writes about
[00:40:25.410]the law and political economy in rural places.
[00:40:28.190]I've also got up there on the far right
[00:40:32.120]one of our research assistant's pieces.
[00:40:36.360]Aurora Kenworthy wrote a great piece
[00:40:37.970]on rural American and education policy.
[00:40:41.460]My piece I didn't excerpt and put up there,
[00:40:43.560]I thought it would be nice if I,
[00:40:44.900]or I didn't think it would be great if I did that
[00:40:47.957]and tooted my own horn.
[00:40:49.030]But I do think that this disconnect
[00:40:51.410]between agriculture and rural areas,
[00:40:54.340]it's very related to what Garret was talking about,
[00:40:56.640]which is this of an industrially-driven identity
[00:40:59.890]and what impact that has on politics of rural places.
[00:41:04.650]So those are some of my favorites
[00:41:06.500]and one sort of little illustration I wanted to present
[00:41:11.100]in terms of what can perhaps be possible
[00:41:14.190]when we have this kind of product available to folks.
[00:41:18.720]And so I think my next task is to describe a little bit
[00:41:23.830]the structure of the programs that we've created,
[00:41:26.420]and this is sort of that second category of things
[00:41:28.860]that we're trying to do
[00:41:29.693]through the Rural Reconciliation Project.
[00:41:32.170]And just to be brief, we've organized and been a part of
[00:41:35.030]over the last year and a half, two years almost,
[00:41:37.950]two programs that we created ourselves,
[00:41:39.930]the Spring 2021 Seminar Series
[00:41:42.710]and the Rural Infrastructure Series,
[00:41:44.260]and then the Fall 2021 Law and Rurality Project
[00:41:47.540]was a project that we undertook
[00:41:48.930]with Hannah Haksgaard at South Dakota.
[00:41:52.110]So to go to the next slide,
[00:41:55.030]the two main programs that we put on at the RRP.
[00:41:58.396]Our first one was really geared at
[00:42:00.380]sort of that first step of reconciliation,
[00:42:02.550]this idea of telling the truth.
[00:42:04.210]It wasn't drawn together by a particular theme
[00:42:09.090]in the same way that the second program
[00:42:11.950]was drawn together by.
[00:42:13.250]The second one was all focused on rural infrastructure,
[00:42:16.130]which, as we sort of found
[00:42:18.230]as we proceeded through that program,
[00:42:20.170]isn't much of a limiting factor
[00:42:22.290]in terms of the scope of things that are relevant.
[00:42:27.500]In the spirit of show and tell,
[00:42:29.420]these are efforts at bringing together
[00:42:32.790]scholars from a number of different fields
[00:42:34.350]to talk about their work and how it relates to rural
[00:42:38.250]and give other scholars ideas
[00:42:39.920]about what they might draw from other disciplines.
[00:42:41.980]So Lisa Pruitt and Adam Calo and Maybell,
[00:42:46.430]Emily Prifogle and Ezra and Loka
[00:42:49.770]all brought in that first program
[00:42:54.160]all sorts of different ideas from different areas
[00:42:57.800]of the way that the law interacts.
[00:42:59.550]And, I'm sorry, Emily is a historian at Michigan,
[00:43:04.980]and her talk was really great.
[00:43:08.510]I don't know how far we wanna go in show and tell,
[00:43:10.400]we're getting kind of low on time.
[00:43:13.330]The next slide, sort of my favorite,
[00:43:18.860]there's some risk associated with identifying favorites.
[00:43:22.140]I mean, we all devoted a great deal of effort
[00:43:24.810]to all of these things,
[00:43:25.643]it's like picking your favorite child.
[00:43:27.630]But the one that's,
[00:43:28.630]maybe it's just the most recent in my mind,
[00:43:31.440]and the one that I really gotta kick out of
[00:43:33.380]was the water panel that we had
[00:43:35.500]as part of the second program.
[00:43:39.140]And this was just a fantastic panel
[00:43:41.830]that explored everything from rural West Virginia
[00:43:45.390]and the water quality problems that are arising there
[00:43:47.990]to the details associated with delivering aid
[00:43:53.240]to local governments and their capacity
[00:43:56.130]to really take advantage of things like block grants
[00:43:59.730]and things along those lines.
[00:44:00.770]So I was impressed by the scope of it,
[00:44:03.320]and then of course the subject is near and dear to my heart.
[00:44:06.050]But, Jess, what are your show and tell items from the-
[00:44:10.060]Yeah, and I will be super brief as well,
[00:44:11.880]just for the sake of time.
[00:44:15.590]One of my favorites, Adam Calo was actually I think
[00:44:17.640]our first or maybe our second,
[00:44:19.610]he spoke about beginning farmer initiatives,
[00:44:22.380]specifically like incubator programs in California,
[00:44:26.646]and really I think made a lot of us think
[00:44:29.180]by just asking what now seems like an obvious question,
[00:44:32.210]but at the time was one of those sort of light bulb moments
[00:44:34.490]of when we advocate for beginning farmers
[00:44:37.100]or we think about beginning farmers,
[00:44:39.640]why aren't we asking what happened
[00:44:41.400]to the ones that used to be here, right?
[00:44:42.820]Or like why aren't we asking
[00:44:44.010]why it didn't work in the first place,
[00:44:45.680]and why do we expect that things will work again
[00:44:49.300]if they didn't work before,
[00:44:50.660]which really fit our kind of reconciliation theme well.
[00:44:54.590]I also was just gonna highlight the workshop
[00:44:56.950]that we did with Hannah from the University of South Dakota.
[00:44:58.937]We had like 30 scholars from different disciplines,
[00:45:02.240]Brazil, Israel, the United States,
[00:45:04.330]all sharing works in progress
[00:45:06.390]at different levels of seniority and experience,
[00:45:11.000]but just a really cool opportunity
[00:45:13.740]to have really rich conversations
[00:45:15.690]with people who think about these places
[00:45:18.360]in really different but related ways.
[00:45:21.350]And then I think we are gonna just sort of put up
[00:45:23.510]Emily's quote and then I'll let you end, Anthony.
[00:45:27.780]One of the things I just wanna note
[00:45:29.320]is that a true kind of reconciliation,
[00:45:32.020]if we were sort of doing reconciliation itself,
[00:45:36.090]would involve a different process
[00:45:38.720]of like really bringing people together
[00:45:40.920]and listening to all voices.
[00:45:43.710]Em Prifogle, who's a historian
[00:45:45.350]at the University of Michigan,
[00:45:46.390]said when she was giving her talk
[00:45:47.910]about kind of how racial boundaries got constructed
[00:45:50.480]across rural America historically,
[00:45:53.300]talked about she likes this project
[00:45:55.130]'cause it's letting rural communities speak.
[00:45:57.330]At this point, we're letting rural communities speak
[00:45:59.410]through people who speak on the Rural Review,
[00:46:01.600]which includes like anybody who wants to, really.
[00:46:03.980]We probably publish almost anything.
[00:46:05.880]I just said that out loud, Anthony,
[00:46:07.240]I don't know if that's true.
[00:46:08.073]But we're sort of an open door, right?
[00:46:11.440]We're trying to be an open door.
[00:46:13.137]And I think one thing that we're trying to think about
[00:46:15.660]is sort of what else can we do to be impactful
[00:46:19.030]and are we doing the right things
[00:46:21.270]to try to kind of get to
[00:46:22.550]these critical questions in a meaningful way?
[00:46:25.730]Anthony, I'll let you finish.
[00:46:27.790]Yeah, so there's no punchline,
[00:46:31.540]there's just sort of more.
[00:46:33.270]And so we're still left with these questions,
[00:46:36.460]and I don't know if we're much closer
[00:46:38.410]to answering any of them after a year and a half.
[00:46:41.300]But maybe 10 years from now we have some ideas
[00:46:44.820]or maybe there are just questions.
[00:46:46.340]But in any event, it's been fun
[00:46:50.560]and thank you so much for having us for this program.
[00:46:54.020]What we'd like to get from the audience
[00:46:55.960]are any questions they have or thoughts or ideas
[00:46:58.370]or anything along those lines.
[00:47:01.060]So with that, I think we'll open it up.
[00:47:02.980]And I suppose, we have time for questions
[00:47:05.730]for Garret too, don't we?
[00:47:08.230]We do, we have until two o'clock.
[00:47:13.901]I should also say that our logo
[00:47:16.930]was designed by the one and only Katie Neland,
[00:47:19.717]who is right there.
[00:47:21.130]So thank you, Katie.
[00:47:24.120]We're supposed to say we have money
[00:47:25.050]from the Carnegie Corporation for this.
[00:47:29.745]I have a question for Garret,
[00:47:31.057]and it relates to this idea of industrial identity.
[00:47:35.340]Have you thought about that as applied to agriculture?
[00:47:40.380]A lot of people think of rural as just a bunch of farmers
[00:47:42.860]and a lot of people in rural
[00:47:44.100]who aren't really anywhere close to farming
[00:47:47.260]think of themselves as part of this agricultural area
[00:47:50.100]and it has big impact on like policy-making,
[00:47:53.080]environmental policy, those sorts of things.
[00:47:55.070]Is that something you've run into?
[00:47:58.920]So that has been less my experience
[00:48:01.760]in this particular site work.
[00:48:05.530]As I said I think before everyone else got on,
[00:48:08.270]I'm currently in Fargo, North Dakota
[00:48:10.030]in kind of the Red River Valley.
[00:48:12.120]And in the rural communities in this part of North Dakota
[00:48:15.440]where I did a little study a while ago,
[00:48:20.240]it's definitely more industrial agriculture-driven,
[00:48:24.010]particularly around sugar beet,
[00:48:26.580]so American Crystal Sugar
[00:48:28.050]and then the North Dakota Corn Growers Association.
[00:48:32.160]Which gets into this really interesting space
[00:48:34.830]of kind of the political side of it
[00:48:37.370]which I think you're alluding to,
[00:48:38.760]around, like, those are two major lobbying entities in DC
[00:48:42.960]that are driving policy around ag and rural communities.
[00:48:50.410]And, there also becomes this narrative
[00:48:53.270]among people who aren't directly involved,
[00:48:56.900]like our chair holders don't have land,
[00:48:59.490]where it's like, oh, well they're a sugar beet family.
[00:49:02.903]Or there ends up being
[00:49:04.110]that kind of unbreaking of a community
[00:49:08.350]where the sugar beat families are the best families network,
[00:49:11.310]for lack of a better term,
[00:49:12.310]and then you have everyone else.
[00:49:15.280]Does that answer your question?
[00:49:17.070]Yeah, it's interesting.
[00:49:20.530]Well, it seems like we've had a lull in the action,
[00:49:24.670]so I wish to thank Professor Schutz
[00:49:28.600]and Professor Shoemaker and Garret.
[00:49:33.100]Thank you for your most insightful comments.
[00:49:39.545]I'm sure we all feel like
[00:49:41.890]our brain's been stretched a little,
[00:49:45.060]so thanks so much.
[00:49:46.703](warm acoustic guitar music)
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