Responding to the Call For Action on Racial Justice

In partnership with First Nations Development Institute (FNDI) – the largest Native-controlled economic justice organization in the country that provides economic development assistance, research and advocacy for Native American reservations and tribal communities – our team seeks to address two forms of injustice — 1) the forced exile of Native Americans during the establishment of the State of Ohio; and 2) the dispossession of tribal lands by the U.S. government to fund the establishment of The Ohio State University — actions that have contributed to intergenerational disadvantage and well-established economic, educational, and health disparities of Native American peoples.

Our Team:

Stephen M. Gavazzi, OSU Professor, Human Sciences, serves as the PI and as such will provide overall leadership for the project, as well as heading up the data analyses and scholarship development efforts.

Michael Roberts, President and CEO of First Nations Development Institute, will serve as the primary contact to tribal leaders, will supervise the data collection by FNDI staff members, and will co-lead the reparations planning process.

Marti Chaatsmith, Associate Director of the OSU Newark Earthworks Center (NEC), is the Co-I who will supervise the project manager and will co-lead planning of the NEC demonstration research project.

Casey Hoy, OSU Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystem Management, OSU Professor of Entomology, and Faculty Director of InFACT, is the Co-I who will co-lead planning of the NEC demonstration/research project.

John Low, OSU Associate Professor of Comparative Studies and Director of the Newark Earthworks Center, is the Co-I who will lead the formation of the land acknowledgement statement and will co-lead the planning of the demonstration/research project at Newark Earthworks.

Brian Snyder, Executive Director of InFACT, is the Co-I who will co-lead the planning of the NEC demonstration research project and assist with the outreach and partnership development with FNDI and other potential national partners in the future.

We will partner with the FNDI to cultivate connections with Tribal Nations across the U.S. who experienced these two forms of injustice to facilitate a restorative dialogue between Native peoples and our project team members. Our ultimate goals are:

(1) a shared understanding of these injustices;

(2) a co-created plan of specific reparative actions to benefit the Native American communities impacted by this land dispossession;


(3) a shared process to enact the plan.



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