47th NSU symposium celebrates Indigenous women
TAHLEQUAH – The 47th annual Symposium on the American Indian is slated for April 8-13 at Northeastern State University “Celebrating Indigenous Women” to honor modern and legendary Indigenous matriarchs.
“We wanted to do something that highlighted women and focused on women because the previous symposium just by chance seemed to be heavily focused on men as keynote speakers. So we wanted to take the opportunity to do something for women,” NSU Center for Tribal Studies Director Sara Barnett said. “We wanted an opportunity to celebrate what our Indigenous women are doing. So both matriarchs in our families and our communities and in our professional lives as well and tribal leadership.”
The weeklong event features presentation from keynote speakers, three film series and sessions and activities surrounding the “contributions of women (that) is ever present in Indigenous families and communities,” according to the NSU website.
Keynote speakers include Tara Houska (Couchiching First Nation) presenting Natural Law: Women Water Keepers, Erin Griffin (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) presenting Vitalizing the Dakota Langauge and Dr. Mary Jo Tippeconnic Fox (Comanche/Cherokee) presenting Indigenous Women: Community, Society and Native Well-Being.
Barnett said they have expanded their film series this year with one screening on April 8 and two on April 9. Films are “Warrior Women,” “Shiloh” and “Apache 8,” all screening in the NSU Webb Auditorium.
“Apache 8” tells the story of an all-woman wild land firefighter crew that is from the White Mountain Apache tribe with personal narratives shared by four women from different generations.
Activities throughout the week include live screen-printing, Cherokee Scrabble, stickball, a powwow and an art exhibit, which runs the full month.
“We have an art exhibit that’s actually running the full month of April. It’s called ‘Breaking the Silence.’ It’s focused on missing and murdered Indigenous women and the #MeToo movement. So artists have submitted pieces that they see are a reflection of those things,” Barnett said.
Barnett said this year they have brought back the 5K Resilience Run on April 13, hosted by one of the student organizations.
The symposium is free and open to the public.
For a full agenda visit https://offices.nsuok.edu/centerfortribalstudies/NSU-Symposium