Western Political Philosophy

What are Absent Narratives and how is Unlimited Learning involved?
Unlimited Learning has always been committed to bringing differing opinions, attitudes and beliefs to our area. In this way, differing opinions, ideas, and thoughts show up as uniquely as the individuals who bring them.

By embracing and including these untold experiences that make up each of us and our communities, we can close the relationship gap of human understanding and empathy between us. We think of those who once lived here as having narratives that we can connect with in some way.

The Absent Narratives approach is about restoring relationships. This means to us, to each other, to our communities, and to the places we live and work. This approach asks people to speak only for themselves and not to represent a community.

The involvement in this approach started 5 years ago when the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul, MN provided incentive funds to various organizations and groups which might be interested in pursuing this idea. Unlimited Learning was a fortunate to recipient of these funds.

We started with bringing in those “absent voices” whose narratives we believed -- have not been adequately heard over our history in the greater Minnesota area.

What has Unlimited Learning done so far?
Our first priority was to focus on Native American peoples’ absent narratives. We have been fortunate to recently hear from Dr. Anton Treuer, Jim Anderson, Dr, Brenda Child, Jim Jones and Dr. Vivian Delgado. All of these individuals are of Native American heritage. Our hope has been to bring these voices forward in order to help our learning community understand the effects of the accumulation of absence of their narratives over time. And how these communities have struggled to keep their respective and collective narratives alive.

We also have cooperated with our local historical and cultural groups in order to bring absent voices and narratives from various immigrant Americans forward to today’s generations. We have asked elder relatives of the immigrant Americans who emigrated our area to work in the mining industry -- to share their stories. We have been fortunate to use an academic historian to help lead us in this process.

What next?
Overall, our hope is to help provide an authentic voice to our local history. And try to encourage equity of dialogue within our communities to respects and honor various points of view. We
strongly believe that this could help encourage a longer term effect on the feelings of equity in our area. We realize there are many different absent narrative groups – and we are focusing on what our learning community has asked us to provide. We will continue to stay open to bringing more absent narratives forward.

We believe that if we can help reinforce that better understanding – our future actions, decisions and beliefs may help better impact all of our lives as we learn from our absent narratives.

All programs are at Heartwood Senior Living Center
500 Heartwood Dr,
Crosby, MN 56441-5601
on the second Tuesday of the month unless otherwise noted

Mission: To provide quality and broad-based learning opportunities for the Lakes Area residents with emphasis on mature adults.