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NSU announces schedule for 46th Annual Symposium on the American Indian -- April 16-21

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) - The Northeastern State University Center for Tribal Studies will present three keynote speakers, two film screenings and presentations April 16-21 as part of the 46th Annual Symposium on the American Indian. The Symposium’s theme is “Walking with our Ancestors: Preserving Culture and Honoring Tradition.”

The three keynote speakers are Daryl Baldwin, Dr. Lee Francis IV and Dr. Daniel Wildcat. All keynote speakers will be located in the University Center Ballroom.

Dr. Lee Francis IV will speak on April 18 at 9:30 a.m. He is the current National Director of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, the position he assumed after the passing of his father, Wordcraft Founder, Dr. Lee Francis III. His work as a poet and scholar has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Francis will explore the history of Native and Indigenous people in popular culture and highlight some of the efforts of “Indigenerds” worldwide to actively change the representations of Native people through dynamic and powerful expressions of self and culture.

Daryl Baldwin will speak on on April 18 at 1 p.m. Baldwin is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. His ancestors were active in the affairs of the Miami Nation dating back to the 18th century, and he continues this dedication through his work in language and cultural revitalization. Since 1995, Baldwin has worked with the Myaamia people developing culture and language-based educational materials and programs for the tribal community. Baldwin’s presentation will look at the role of the Myaamia Center at Miami University, a Miami Tribe of Oklahoma supported research center, whose mission is to serve the needs of the Myaamia people, Miami University and partner communities through research, education and outreach that promote Myaamia language, culture, knowledge and values.

Dr. Daniel Wildcat will speak April 19 at 9:30 a.m. He is a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, and an accomplished scholar who writes on Indigenous knowledge, technology, environment and education. A Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma, Wildcat’s presentation examines the climate change induced trauma already occurring and likely to to dramatically increase in the next decades. This presentation will argue that in order to deal with this trauma, Indigenous people will need to rely on culture to express tribal resilience through exercises of Indigenous ingenuity and Indigenuity.

Two films will be screened during the symposium, “The Old School House” and “Te Ata.”

“The Old School House” can be seen April 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Webb Building Auditorium. The film is the sixth feature documentary from the Native American Paranormal Project. It explores a building on the campus of Northeastern State University known as the Bacone House, which serves as the university's Center for Tribal Studies. Over the last few decades, many staff and students have encountered unexplained sights and sounds in the Bacone house. In August of 2017, the Native American Paranormal Project visited the old building and documented their time there. Their findings and the history of the 150 year-old home are featured in "The Old School House.” 

“Te Ata” (TAY’ AH-TAH) “Te Ata” can be seen April 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the Webb Building Auditorium. The film is based on the inspiring, true story of Mary Thompson Fisher, a woman who traversed cultural barriers to become one of the greatest Native American performers of all time. Born in Indian Territory, and raised on the songs and stories of her Chickasaw culture, Te Ata’s journey to find her true calling led her through isolation, discovery, love and a stage career that culminated in performances for a United States president, European royalty and audiences across the world.  Yet, of all the stories she shared, none are more inspiring than her own.

April 16-18 will also offer a variety of panels and presentations in the University Center Ballroom.

Symposium activities are free and the public is encouraged to attend. For more information about the Annual Symposium on the American Indian and a full schedule of speakers, panels and presentations, please visit

Funding for this program is provided in part by a grant from Oklahoma Humanities (OH) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of OH or NEH.

Published: 4/6/2018 1:42:02 PM

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