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32nd Annual Symposium on the American Indian Focuses on Education

TAHLEQUAH – Cultural Journeys: Four Centuries of American Indian Education will be the theme of the 32nd Annual Symposium on the American Indian to be held April 14-17 at Northeastern State University (University Center -Tahlequah campus). Conference topics will highlight the history, legacies, and impact of education on tribal populations of the United States, particularly those in Indian Territory, and later, Oklahoma. The three-day symposium agenda includes multimedia presentations, scholarly research, lectures, a native language seminar, teacher workshops, theater, cultural activities, arts and crafts, exhibitions, panel discussions, and other activities that give focus to historical topics and contemporary issues of American Indians.

Keynote speakers are noted authors, historians, educators, and linguists, including: Dr. Margaret Connell-Szasz, University of New Mexico; Dr. Rennard Strickland, University of Oregon; Dr. Greg OBrien, University of Southern Mississippi; Dr. Akira Yamamoto, University of Kansas; Dr. Jon Reyhner, University of Northern Arizona; and Dr. Don Bartlette, motivational speaker. One hour of college credit may be earned by enrolling before April 14. The symposium, which draws a national audience, is open to the public and free of charge.

Reclaiming Native Languages will be the theme of a seminar for native language teachers conducted by Dr. Akira Yamamoto, linguist from the University of Kansas, and the Oklahoma Native Language Association on Thursday evening and all day Friday. One college credit hour will be offered in humanities for this activity. Observers are welcome to sit in at anytime during this session.

The Indian University Scholars Society of NSU will host the Great State of Sequoyah Commission in a two-hour presentation and panel discussion on Friday afternoon. The session will showcase the American Indian efforts in proposing the creation of the State of Sequoyah before Oklahoma statehood. The commission is represented by Dr. Russell Thornton, UCLA; Dr. Tom Holm, University of Arizona; Dr. Rennard Strickland, University of Oregon; Dr. Daniel Littlefield, University of Arkansas; former Cherokee Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller; and Principal Chief Chad Smith.

On Friday evening, an NSU and Indian School Reunion will be held at the NSU Alumni Center. The public is invited to attend. Guest books will be available to register alumni from NSU, Haskell Indian Nations University, Bacone College, Sequoyah High School, Chilocco Indian Agricultural School, and other educational institutions and organizations.

The final day will feature a powwow with a lineup of NSU alumni and staff including: Archie Mason (MC), Osage Principal Chief Jim Gray (head dancer), Lena Nells (head lady dancer), Don Bread (head gourd dancer), George Roy (head singer), and Warren Hawk (arena director). The powwow will honor NSU alumnus, Bryan Jake Chanate, NSU Veterans coordinator. Victoria Mills, Muscogee (Creek) junior from Okmulgee, will make her final appearance as 2003-04 NSU Native American Student Association (NASA) Princess. The powwow will begin at 2 p.m. in the NSU University Center with gourd dancing. The grand entry will be at 7:30 p.m. with intertribal dancing until midnight. There is no charge for admission. Arts and crafts booths will be on display.

For more information on events, college credit, or booth space, contact the NSU Center for Tribal Studies at 918-456-5511, ext. 4350, or visit the symposium web site.


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