Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities


Statement of Purpose:

This essay is a culmination of my personal experience as an Afro-Indigenous person while living in the Twin Cities for the past few years. As a descendant of the Meskwaki Nation of Iowa and of African-American/Black ancestry, the formation of my identity has shaped the way I approach my research in views on culture, relationality, and past/present histories. I was often taught in my youth to attempt to separate these identities and communities, to not draw many parallels between the two. But, in my development in this new space, I have found the communities in the Twin Cities to be a perfect example of how Black and Indigenous peoples cannot be separated and we must work together in order to liberate ourselves and our people. Between being at Macalester during the George Floyd protests in 2020 and other subsequent protests, activism, and community action, I have found a passion for these connections and honed in on these real-life issues. The Twin Cities is filled with an immense amount of knowledge and history that has brought me to where I am now. I want to acknowledge and thank those that have been a guide during my time here and have welcomed me into their communities, knowledges, and stories: thank you to Kiri Sailiata in American Studies at Macalester who has been my advisor during my time here and has been such a solid figure; and thank you to Lisa, Prof Velez, and those at LPCP.

Author Biography

Angelina (AJ) Papakee (any pronouns) is a senior American Studies major with an Urban Studies Concentration from Cedar Rapids, IA. She emphasizes Black and Indigenous relations in history and current-day realities in emphasis on land relations, legality, and traditional knowledges. She plans to use this to work in community-based projects within research, law, and/or educational fields.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License