Land-grab universities

Nearly 11 million acres of Indigenous land. Over 160 violence-backed treaties and land seizures. Approximately 250 tribes, bands and communities. Fifty-two universities. Discover the bloody history behind land-grant universities.

‘Land-grab universities’ wins Polk Award for Education Reporting
‘Land-grab universities’ wins Polk Award for Education Reporting
The project ‘sparked public conversations about the debts universities owe to Indigenous nations.’
Students and faculty urge deeper look at land-grant legacy
Students and faculty urge deeper look at land-grant legacy
University officials face pressure to address their history as the recipients of dispossessed Indigenous land.
Cornell University addresses stolen Indigenous land in new project
Cornell University addresses stolen Indigenous land in new project
The university obtained almost 990,000 acres of expropriated Indigenous land through the Morrill Act and hopes to provide some remedies.
The land-grant universities still profiting off Indigenous homelands
The land-grant universities still profiting off Indigenous homelands
There are at least 16 land-grant universities making money from the expropriated Indigenous lands they retained from the Morrill Act.
Colorado State University acknowledges its establishment at ‘dire cost to Native Nations’
Colorado State University acknowledges its establishment at ‘dire cost to Native Nations’
The land-grant university hopes to recruit more Indigenous students.
Land-grant universities should acknowledge their debt to Indigenous people
Land-grant universities should acknowledge their debt to Indigenous people
Many of the nation’s universities were created with stolen wealth.
Explore the land-grab universities data
Explore the land-grab universities data
Reconstruct the ties between Indigenous dispossession and the funding of land-grant universities.
Help us continue reporting on land-grant universities
Help us continue reporting on land-grant universities
Tell us your stories through a secure tip form.
Land-grab universities
Land-grab universities
Expropriated Indigenous land is the foundation of the land-grant university system.
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.
Further reading on HCN’s land-grants university investigation
Further reading on HCN’s land-grants university investigation
Dive deep into our bibliography.
How we investigated the land-grant university system
How we investigated the land-grant university system
A methodology of our two-year inquiry into the origin of wealth that undergirds the nation’s system of higher education.
High Country News Classifieds
  • WMAN NETWORK COORDINATOR
    WESTERN MINING ACTION NETWORK (WMAN) CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY CLOSING DATE: Feb. 19, 2021 WMAN is seeking a team member to coordinate the various network activities to...
  • FRIENDS OF THE INYO IS HIRING TRAIL AMBASSADORS FOR THE SUMMER OF 2021
    Friends of the Inyo's Trail Ambassadors (TAs) support the Inyo, Sierra, & Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests and other partners by providing positive public service, outreach, interpretation,...
  • LAND & CABIN ON CO/ UT LINE
    18 ac w/small solar ready cabin. Off grid, no well. Great RV location. Surrounded by state wildlife area and nat'l parks.
  • MANAGER PERMACULTURE LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
    Permaculture / Landscape Company Manager / Site Lead Red Ant Works, Inc. - 20+ year landscape construction and horticultural care company seeks manager and site...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau with lodge, river trip and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance is looking for a passionate, dynamic, organized, and technology-savvy communications professional to help grow our membership and presence in the Four...
  • ENERGY AND CLIMATE PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
    San Juan Citizens Alliance seeks an Energy and Climate Program Associate to focus on public outreach, education and organizing to advance campaigns to mitigate climate...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    This position provides professional real estate services and is responsible for managing and completing real estate projects utilizing a project management database that is designed...
  • WILDFIRE MITIGATION SPECIALIST
    The Wildfire Mitigation Specialist is responsible for delivering wildfire risk mitigation information, recommendations and programmatic resources to wildland urban interface homeowners, community members and partners....
  • DEVELOPMENT POSITIONS
    Thorne Nature Experience is hiring for a Development Director and Senior Individual Giving Manager. Individuals will work collaboratively with Thorne's Executive Director to develop and...
  • SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION & ENERGY
    The National Parks Conservation Association, a 100-year-old nonprofit advocacy organization and the nation's leading voice for national parks seeks a Senior Program Manager, Landscape Conservation...
  • BACKCOUNTRY AND FRONTCOUNTRY STEWARDSHIP CREW MEMBERS
    The San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA) is hiring a crew of ambassadors to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to educate visitors on...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATURAL HISTORY INSTITUTE
    The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the Natural History Institute (NHI). The Executive Director has broad authority to lead and manage the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT FRIENDS OF CEDAR MESA
    - The Land, History, and People of the Bears Ears Region - The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful,...
  • SENIOR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
    Greater Yellowstone Coalition seeks a Senior Development Associate to coordinate the organization's individual giving program. The position description is available at http://greateryellowstone.org/careers Please email a...
  • TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISORS
    SEEKING TALENTED TRAIL CREWLEADERS The Pacific Crest Trail Association, headquartered in Sacramento, California ,is dedicated to protecting, preserving and promoting the Pacific Crest National Scenic...
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Native plant seeds for the Western US. Trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers and regional mixes. Call or email for free price list. 719-942-3935. [email protected] or visit...
  • THE LAND DESK: A PUBLIC LANDS NEWSLETTER
    Western lands and communities--in context--delivered to your inbox 3x/week. From award-winning journalist and HCN contributor Jonathan P. Thompson. $6/month; $60/year.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • HISTORIC LODGE AND RESTAURANT - FULLY EQUIPPED
    Built in 1901, The Crazy Mountain Inn has 11 guest rooms in a town-center building on 7 city lots (.58 acres). The inn and restaurant...