Keynote speakers at the 49th Annual American Indian Symposium will focus on viewing higher education through an Indigenous lens and the importance of Indigenous youth voices.
Northeastern State University will host the annual symposium April 4-9. The week-long event is free and open to the public. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Realizing the dreams of our ancestors”.
Keynote speakers are: Dr. Robin Zape-Tah-Hol-Ah Minthorn, Dr. Corey Still and Megan Red Shirt-Shaw.
Red Shirt-Shaw will deliver his keynote “Amplifying the Voices of Our Indigenous Youth” at 1 p.m. on April 5. His presentation will be given virtually. Red Shirt-Shaw’s presentation will highlight the importance of Native youth voices and Natives in America literary publication, an online literary publication she founded for Native American, Alaska Native and Hawaiian youth. . The website has been featured on MTV News for its goal of bringing the voices of Indigenous youth to the forefront of the conversation in America. Red Shirt-Shaw has been featured in The Huffington Post, ThinkProgress, Model View Culture and by Last Real Indians. Red Shirt-Shaw is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Currently, she is the Director of Native Student Services at the University of South Dakota. Red Shirt-Shaw is also pursuing a doctorate in organizational leadership, policy, and development with a focus on higher education at the University of Minnesota.
On April 7 at 1 p.m., Still will present “Intersectionality of Indigenous Language and Culture with Leadership in Higher Education.” His presentation will also be delivered virtually and streamed live in the University Center ballroom. A citizen of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and a first-generation student, Still relates to many of the barriers faced by Indigenous students and has dedicated his life to helping others achieve their educational goals. He is the director of student programming and research for the American Indian Graduate Center based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His current research program includes Indigenous research methodologies, Indigenous representation in institutional politics, undergraduate Indigenous male experiences, Indigenous masculinity, and Native American brotherhoods and sororities.
Minthorn will deliver his keynote address at 10 a.m. on April 8 in the University Center Ballroom. As part of her presentation “Walking with Our Ancestors: Indigenizing the Academy”, she will discuss ways to indigenize the academy that centers ancestral knowledge and relational learning while being grounded in the community. She will also explore the “heartwork” that centers and acknowledges that tribal ancestors continue to walk with their descendants as part of their lifetime journey. A dedication will follow the presentation.
Minthorn is a citizen of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and a descendant of the Umatilla/Nez Perce/Apache and Assiniboine nations. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington Tacoma and is also Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Director of Indigenous Education Initiatives for the School of Education. Her research interests include Indigenous leadership, Indigenous doctoral experiences, the impact of Native American sisterhoods and Indigenous motherhood in the academy.
For more information about the Symposium of the American Indian, visit www.nsuok.edu/symposium or contact the NSU Center for Tribal Studies at 918-444-4350 or email [email protected] Individuals will need to register online in order to receive Zoom links for virtual presentations.
The American Indian Symposium is a community event welcoming people from all demographics, including K-12 students, educators, professionals, and community members. There is no registration fee and the events are open to the public. The symposium began as a one-day event in 1972.
Over the next 49 years, the symposium evolved into a full week of speakers, concurrent sessions/workshops, and film series attracting visitors from across the United States and overseas.
Funding for this program is provided in part by a grant from Oklahoma Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This project was also supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from Oklahoma State and the National Endowment for the Arts.