Mark Trahant

Native American professor resigns over disputed lecture series

By Joe Heim, The Washington Post
Originally published on October 30, 2017

A Native American professor at the University of North Dakota announced last week that he will not renew his position at the end of this academic year because the school twice stopped him from creating a lecture series about the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

Mark Trahant, a journalism professor who is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, wrote in a Facebook post last week that the university rejected a lecture series he proposed last academic year about media coverage of Standing Rock. This school year, he suggested a conference looking at the role of social media in the pipeline protests but was once again rebuffed. Trahant indicated in his post that senior administration officials were worried the state legislature would retaliate for the courses.

“I am disappointed and disgusted that the university is not an institutional leader,” Trahant wrote. “It should be a beam of light, shining on the protected realm of rational discourse.”

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