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Wes Studi to be Featured Speaker at 35th Annual Symposium on the American Indian

TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee actor, musician and native speaker Wes Studi will be a featured speaker at the 35th Annual Symposium on the American Indian. Themed “Oklahoma 1907-2007: And Still the Waters Run,” the symposium will run April 18-21 at the Northeastern State University campus in Tahlequah.

Additional events include traditional art demonstrations, a Cherokee language forum, and the American Indian film series. A Native Language Revitalization seminar is set for April 19-20. The Symposium will conclude with the Annual NSU Powwow on April 20-21. For a complete list of events visit the Symposium web site at or call the Center for Tribal Studies at 918-444-4350.

Best known for his roles as the Pawnee warrior in “Dances With Wolves” and as Magua in “The Last of the Mohicans,” Studi most recently portrayed a character inspired by the Powhatan warrior Opechancanough in The New World, a 2005 Academy Award-nominated film directed by Terrence Malick, and starring Colin Farrell. The historical adventure is set during the founding of the Jamestown, Virginia settlement and includes other characters inspired by historical figures, notably Captain John Smith (Farrell) and Pocahontas.

In addition to acting, Studi is a stone carver, an author of two children's books, and plays bass in a band. He is an avid proponent of native language revitalization programs, and is a fluent Cherokee speaker. Born in No Hollow, Oklahoma, Studi attended Chilocco Indian School in northern Oklahoma, Tulsa Junior College and Northeastern State University.

Studi will be joined by other featured speakers, including Indian law expert Rennard Strickland; native language expert Akira Yamamoto; cultural activist, youth advocate, DJ and performer Brian Frejo; attorney Marcella Giles; award-winning novelist and poet Robert Conley; native art curator Russ Tall Chief; photographer Tim Fields; and American Indian historian Dr. Rose Stremlau.

The 35th Annual Symposium on the American Indian is co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Humanities Council, Oklahoma Arts Council, Cherokee Nation Casino, and Muscogee Creek Nation Casino.


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