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Land-Grab Universities
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April 1, 2020

In this issue, we release an unprecedented investigation into the United State’s land-grant university system, which was created from the expropriation of Indigenous land. This two-year investigation uncovers the origin of wealth that undergirds The nation’s system of higher education. The issue also looks at ranked-choice voting in Oregon, the cultural trend of meatless hamburgers, and the origins of immigration practices that are sweeping through Western communities. In Seattle, we follow scientists who are scrambling to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Meanwhile, award-winning authors Tommy Orange and Louise Erdrich discuss Erdrich's new novel, and an essay takes a retrospective look at the life and work of writer Charles Bowden.

Feature

Land-grab universities
Land-grab universities
Expropriated Indigenous land is the foundation of the land-grant university system.
A captive orca and a chance for our redemption
A captive orca and a chance for our redemption
Tokitae has spent nearly 50 years in captivity. It’s time she returned home.

Reportage

Why scientists rallied to save a museum of mud
Why scientists rallied to save a museum of mud
Researchers at Oregon State University hope the collection helps scientists understand more about earth’s past and future.
Inside a Seattle lab working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine
Inside a Seattle lab working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine
‘We’ve put a lot of projects on hold so that we can focus on this.’
Cowboys, Impossible Whoppers and the stories that sell food
Cowboys, Impossible Whoppers and the stories that sell food
Plant-based burger ads offer a new twist on the cowboy icon while perpetuating industrial food culture.
Air Force pushed to find alternative to ‘forever chemicals’ for firefighting
Air Force pushed to find alternative to ‘forever chemicals’ for firefighting
Can air bases come up with a less toxic foam and work with local communities affected by contamination?
Tribal nations demand response to climate relocation
Tribal nations demand response to climate relocation
Five Indigenous communities have asked the U.N. to investigate the United States’ failure to live up to legal obligations.
How the U.S. immigration system has grown increasingly cruel
How the U.S. immigration system has grown increasingly cruel
The nation’s migration deterrence policy shapes the way immigrants are seen and treated.
Agricultural extension agents help farms succeed. But in Indian Country, they’re scarce.
Agricultural extension agents help farms succeed. But in Indian Country, they’re scarce.
On the Hopi Reservation, one agent is helping her community grow food. But for how long?

Editor's Note

Lost and found: The story of land-grant universities
Lost and found: The story of land-grant universities
Mythology is powerful, but so is journalism.

What Works

Can a new voting system improve our fractured democracy?
Can a new voting system improve our fractured democracy?
A county in Oregon decides to rank its voters’ choices.

Facts & Figures

As temperatures rise,  Arizona sinks
As temperatures rise, Arizona sinks
Climate change and unregulated wells are depleting the West’s groundwater reserves.

Conversation

Fighting and winning with Louise Erdrich
Fighting and winning with Louise Erdrich
The author opens up to Tommy Orange about family, her new novel and the third wave of Indigenous writing.
‘This system cannot be sustained’
‘This system cannot be sustained’
This year, tribal nations enter negotiations over Colorado River water.

West Obsessed

The road to ecofascism is paved with green intentions
The road to ecofascism is paved with green intentions
Why fusing nationalism and naturalism is a bad idea.

Perspective

MMIW families still need enforceable legislation
MMIW families still need enforceable legislation
Too often, tribal, state and federal governments mishandle cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women. This has to change.
A viral coyote-badger video demonstrates the incredible complexity of nature
A viral coyote-badger video demonstrates the incredible complexity of nature
A behavioral ecologist breaks down the importance of an adorable wildlife clip.

Review

The endless search for Charles Bowden
The endless search for Charles Bowden
A longtime Bowden reader remembers the complicated author through two new books.

Heard Around the West

Sloppy scavengers; dashing javelina; moose trappings
Sloppy scavengers; dashing javelina; moose trappings
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Telling the story of the changing West
Telling the story of the changing West
As the Trump administration retrenches, there’s a rising call for justice and political reform.

Letters

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