Settler Colonial City

Racism and Inequity in Postwar Minneapolis

2021
Author:

David Hugill

Revealing the enduring link between settler colonization and the making of modern Minneapolis

Examining several distinct Minneapolis sites, Settler Colonial City tracks how settler-colonial relations were articulated alongside substantial growth in the Twin Cities Indigenous community during the second half of the twentieth century—creating new geographies of racialized advantage. It reveals how non-Indigenous people in Minneapolis produced and enforced a racialized economy of power that directly contradicts the city’s “progressive” reputation.

Colonial relations are often excluded from discussions of urban politics and are viewed instead as part of a regrettable past. In Settler Colonial City, David Hugill confronts this culture of organized forgetting by arguing that Minnesota’s largest city is enduringly bound up with the power dynamics of settler-colonial politics. Examining several distinct Minneapolis sites, Settler Colonial City tracks how settler-colonial relations were articulated alongside substantial growth in the Twin Cities Indigenous community during the second half of the twentieth century—creating new geographies of racialized advantage.

Studying the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis in the decades that followed the Second World War, Settler Colonial City demonstrates how colonial practices and mentalities shaped processes of urban reorganization, animated non-Indigenous “advocacy research,” informed a culture of racialized policing, and intertwined with a broader culture of American imperialism. It reveals how the actions, assumptions, and practices of non-Indigenous people in Minneapolis produced and enforced a racialized economy of power that directly contradicts the city’s “progressive” reputation.

Ultimately, Settler Colonial City argues that the hierarchical and racist political dynamics that characterized the city’s prosperous beginnings are not exclusive to a bygone era but rather are central to a recalibrated settler-colonial politics that continues to shape contemporary cities across the United States.

David Hugill is assistant professor of geography and environmental studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He is coeditor of Settler City Limits: Indigenous Resurgence and Colonial Violence in the Urban Prairie West.


Contents


Preface


Map of Minnesota


Map of South Minneapolis


Introduction: Minneapolis as a Settler Colonial City


1. Urban Change and the Colonial Relation: The Making of an ‘Indian Neighborhood’


2. Liberal Anti-Racism as Political Dead End: The Limits of Non-Indigenous Advocacy


3. Cops and Counter Patrols: Racialized Policing on East Franklin Avenue


4. Land Mines at Home and Abroad: American Empire in South Minneapolis


Epilogue


Acknowledgments


Notes


Bibliography


Index