Native award-winning journalist and teacher Mark Trahant resigned from his teaching job at the University of North Dakota after he said officials refused to allow him to teach a lecture series on the indigenous-led resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline.
Trahant, a citizen of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, was appointed the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the university in 2015.
In a Facebook post, he said he won’t be renewing his term because he wasn’t able to host public forums where the #NoDAPL movement would have been discussed.
A portion of the Facebook post reads:
I have decided to not renew my term as an endowed chair at the University of North Dakota. It really comes down to this: I am disappointed and disgusted that the university is not an institutional leader in this state. It should be a beam of light, shining on the protected realm of rational discourse. Last year, for example, I was asked to coordinate a journalism lecture series. I proposed hearing from the journalists who covered Standing Rock. Nope. Instead the series was “put on hold.” This year I suggested a conference on technology and society, again leading with a conversation about Standing Rock and social media. Again, no, and I learned about senior administration fears that the legislature might retaliate. I understand that it’s important to keep fighting, but when your institution is absent, well, for me, this chapter ends.
In a statement to The Associated Press, the university did not outright deny Trahant’s account. A spokesperson said President Mark Kennedy had no “knowledge” about alleged retaliation from politicians if Trahant went ahead with his efforts.
(Article By James Carter)