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5th Annual Indigenous people’s Symposium and 40th Annual Community Powwow

Thursday April 19th-21st, 2012


The University of Massachusetts, a leader in sustainability initiatives is pleased to announce the 5th Annual Indigenous People’s Symposium and Community Powwow as a collaborative pre-Earth Day event.

The focus of this year’s symposium will be on Indigenous health from a global perspective. Presentations will include insights that can be easily transferrable into concerns that many communities in United States face. The university community is focused on sustainability, economic ethnics, and the long range impact of oil spills, industrial accidents and other natural disasters. Adding a perspective from diverse Indigenous communities and diverse academic disciplines serves as a “for example” platform for economic and social justice critical thinking when developing and engaging sustainable projects. As the campus moves forward to develop sustainable courses and co-curricular activities we also recognize conversations on sustainability should also have social and economic justice components with regard to marginalized populations.

The symposium opens on Thursday April 19th at 2:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Reading Room with a presentation by Melissa Tataquegueon Zobel, Tribal Historian of the Mohegan Tribal Nation of Connecticut and this year’s UMASS Amherst Tribal Historian in Residence. Melissa will be speaking on “Ancient Kin: Historic Relations Between the Tribes of New England”.

The symposium continues on Friday, April 20th a t noon in Herter Hall room 227 with a keynote address, “The Impact of the Gulf spill on the Houma Tribal Nation of Louisiana”, by Dr. N. Bruce Duthu of the Houma Nation and the Samson Occom Chair of the Native Studies Department at the University of Dartmouth, NH. UMASS Alumna Sandra Deer-Stands Up will also be speaking on: “Impact of the Oil Spill in the St. Lawrence Seaway in Ontario, Canada on the Kahnawa:ke Mohawk There will also graduate level students and undergraduates throughout the symposium. . The day will close with a film screening and discussion of “The Last Winter” a mainstream movie that proposes a unique concept regarding the role of “oil” within the earth’s natural resources.

The symposium cumulates with the Annual UMASS Amherst powwow on Saturday April 21, 2012 in the Curry Hicks Cage from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Powwow is celebration our academic accomplishments and co-curricular activities (out-reach, community service, and cultural survival efforts) though out the academic year.

These events are free and open to the public.
Our Sponsorships include the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the School of Public Health, Commonwealth College, University Outreach, UMASS Arts Council, Center for Student Development-ESCA Grant, Latin American Cultural Center, and the Cultural Enrichment office of the center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success with additional support from Dr. John H. Bracey, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.