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April 19, 2005
Contact: Michael Yellow Bird or Julia Goodfox, KU Center for Indigenous Nations Studies, (785) 864-2660; or Venida Chenault, Haskell Indian Nations University, (785) 749-8457.

Haskell, KU indigenous studies to host Native American professors conference


LAWRENCE -- Both Haskell Indian Nations University and the Center for Indigenous Nations Studies at the University of Kansas will host the 15th annual conference of the American Indian and Alaska Native Professors Association April 21 through 23.

Opening events on Thursday, April 21, and Friday, April 22, will be at Haskell, 23rd and Barker streets. Most events on Saturday, April 23, will be in the Kansas Union at KU.

Approximately 100 faculty and staff in programs addressing indigenous research and concerns will gather to present papers and discuss a wide range of topics related to the conference theme: "Decolonization Redux: First Nations Communities and Indigenous Professors."

Waziyatawin (Wah-ZEE-yah-tah-ween) Angela Wilson, Wahpetunwan Dakota from the Upper Sioux reservation in southwestern Minnesota and an assistant professor of history at Arizona State University in Tempe, will give the keynote address at 12:30 p.m. in Haskell's Navarre Hall Regents Room on Friday. Her talk is titled "Envisioning Decolonization: The Role of Indigenous Intellectuals."

Wilson wrote "Remember This!: Dakota Decolonization and the Eli Taylor Narratives," published this year by by the University of Nebraska Press, and is co-editor of "Indigenizing the Academy: Transforming Scholarship and Empowering Communities." She has published numerous articles on the power of oral tradition in Native American history.

Conference sessions will address the theme from a variety of perspectives, including indigenous studies, history, social work, political science, public health, literature, film, science and technology, education, gaming, activism and other disciplines and areas.

Registration will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 21, in the Haskell Cultural Center.

The opening session will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 22, in Navarre Hall South Conference Room with an invocation by Gary Mitchell of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Venida Chenault, Haskell vice president of academic affairs, and David Shulenburger, KU provost and executive vice chancellor, will give the official welcome.

The opening session will be devoted to a review of the state of indigenous affairs in Kansas by the chairs of two Indian Nations: Zack Pahmahmie, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, and Steve Cadue, Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas.

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation is hosting the 6 p.m. Friday conference dinner at Haskell. Entertainment will be provided at 7:30 p.m. in Curtis Hall Rose Room by Native American artists from the area as well as by conference participants. The program includes spoken word, poetry and musical performances.

Saturday's events will move to Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union at KU and open with an 8:30 a.m. welcome from Michael Yellow Bird, director of KU's Center for Indigenous Nations Studies.

A panel of indigenous students will begin with an 8:40 a.m. Saturday plenary session in the Kansas Union Alderson Auditorium on "Indigenous Students Speak Back to Their Indigenous Professors: What We Need in the Classroom to Decolonize Our Communities."

The conference will conclude at Haskell with a dinner and awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Indigenous Decolonization Papers of Excellence Prize will be presented.

The conference agenda is available online at http://www.ku.edu/~insp/conference.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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