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Archive for Thursday, April 21, 2005

American Indian academics in town today for conference

April 21, 2005

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More than 100 American Indian professors, researchers and graduate students will be in Lawrence today for the start of three-day conference on issues related to indigenous studies.

"We're expecting a really good turnout," said Michael Yellow Bird, director of Kansas University's Center for Indigenous Nations Studies. "We'll have people here from all across the country; North America, actually. We'll have lots of folks who are eminent in their fields."

The conference, titled "Decolonization Redux: First Nations Communities and Indigenous Professors," is a joint project of Haskell Indian Nations University and KU's Center for Indigenous Nations Studies.

Sessions include:

  • Steve Cadue, chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, and Zack Pahmahmie, chairman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, will discuss the state of Indian affairs in Kansas at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Navarre Hall at Haskell.
  • Waziyatawin Angela Wilson, an assistant professor of history at Arizona State University will present the keynote address, "Envisioning Decolonization: The Role of Indigenous Intellectuals," at 12:30 p.m. Friday in Navarre Hall.
  • A panel of college students, including Haskell senior Denny Gayton, will assess indigenous studies curricula during an 8:40 a.m. session Saturday in Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union at KU.
  • Four professors, including Yellow Bird, will discuss ongoing efforts to develop accreditation standards for American Indian Studies programs at 2 p.m. Saturday in Stidham Hall at Haskell.

"There is a national movement going on now to begin the process for accrediting native studies programs, to come up with a more applied focus," Yellow Bird said.

Now in its 15th year, the annual conference has been alternately hosted by KU/Haskell and Arizona State University.

Though the upcoming sessions are open to the public, there is a registration fee. For more information, contact Julia Goodfox, 864-2660.

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