October 19, 2012
DALLAS (SMU) — Serious issues facing Native Americans — cultural insensitivities, violence against women, poverty — and solutions for their “invisible crisis” will be addressed during the “Native Peoples: Inherent Rights & Forgotten Voices” series at SMU Oct. 24–31.
Each free public event will be led by native peoples using their own voices, says Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, which is sponsoring the series in partnership with the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences’ Departments of Anthropology and History, the Meadows School of the Arts and the Office of the Chaplain.
All events but one will take place at 7 p.m. at McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. On Oct. 26, an arts-focused day, a Native American band and Hopi artists will appear at noon and 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Owens Fine Arts Center at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts
“The plight of native peoples remains ongoing because in many ways they’re invisible to most of us,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin, noting that they are physically isolated on reservations in primarily rural and poverty stricken-areas.
“But what is the political and moral obligation of this country to any group that continually states their rights are being ignored or abused?” Halperin says. “This series will look at all of the human rights issues that need to be understood from a variety of indigenous peoples’ points of view.”
Recently, Native Americans have fought legal battles against professional sports teams over mascots such as the Washington Redskins. The Redskins case, discussed by the attorney representing Native Americans, will be one of the first issues confronted in the series, the schedule of which follows:
Oct. 24–Intellectual Property & Cultural Heritage: attorney Phil Mause, of Washington, D.C. (representing Native Americans in a legal case against the Washington Redskins); Leo Wesley, community liaison, American Indian Program, Dallas Independent School District; Mary K. Bonwannie, professor of Native American studies at the University of New Mexico.
Oct. 25–Cultural Heritage: What is Tradition? A panel featuring Jim Enote, director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in Zuni, New Mexico; Richard Littlebear, president of Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer, Montana, and foremost scholar of the Cheyenne Nation; Mary Jane Longley, member of the Alaska’s Cook Inlet Tribal Council and Anchorage Work Force Investment Board.
Oct. 26–The Arts: featuring Leigh Kuwanwisiwma & Sunfire Band, Hopi artist Eric D. James and Hopi singer and teacher Anita Poleahla, all of Arizona.
Oct. 28–“Cherokee Word for Water”: Screening and discussion with documentary filmmakers Charlie Soap of Oklahoma and Kristina Kiehl of California.
Oct. 29–Environmental Issues: Fire, Water, Earth, Air: Panel featuring Calvin Grinnell, historian in tribal historic preservation for the Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation in North Dakota; John Murray of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana; and Kerry Thompson, member of the Navajo Nation and a professor at Northern Arizona University.
Oct. 30–Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native American Women and Children in Minnesota: Panel featuring Christine Stark, author, activist, and professor at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul; Eileen Hudon, a researcher, writer and policy advocate and member of the Minnesota Indian Women Sexual Assault Coalition in St. Paul; and Ron Gurley, member of the Cherokee Nation and founder and CPO of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Green Country in Tulsa, Okla.
Oct. 31–Spiritual Heritage, Historical Trauma and Community Health Featuring the Rev. David Wilson, a member of the Choctaw Nation and United Methodist clergy of Oklahoma City, and Dolores Bigfoot author and professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and director of the Indian Country Child Trauma Center at the University of Oklahoma.
For more details, call 214-768-8347 or email email@example.com.