Initiative for Native Nation Relations

Launched in 2021, the mission of the Initiative for Native Nation Relations (INNR) is to draw on the resources of The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University to engage, collaborate with, and serve Native Nations.

INNR pursues research and services activities in response to requests from Native Nations.

Current projects include:

1. Facilitating Native American boarding school truth and healing between monastic communities and affected Native Nations.

2. Protecting of wild rice beds and other sites sacred.

3. Examining how tribal governments served as leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Mapping and measuring how disparities in access to credit and other banking services disproportionately affect Native communities.

5. Facilitating connections between CSB/SJU and Indigenous youth to promote Native youth college access.

6. Researching the history of tribal gaming in Minnesota and its position as the first state to sign tribal casino compacts.

INNR is Directed by Dr. Theodor Gordon, who currently serves as the Joseph P. Farry Professor and is a faculty member in the Sociology Department. If you have any ideas or questions, please reach out to him at