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Indigenous Peoples Day at K-State features noted speakers

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019


MANHATTAN — Kansas State University is hosting Indigenous Peoples Day Oct. 14, and the event has attracted a lineup of keynote presenters, including Sarah Deer, a 2019 National Women's Hall of Fame inductee and Kansas scholar.

The event is hosted by the Indigenous Faculty and Staff Alliance, and the lead sponsor is the College of Education. Indigenous Peoples Day will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the K-State Student Union, and registration is open and free to all attendees. Faculty sending classes are also asked to register. Many tribal members and employees from across Kansas and the region will be represented as speakers, presenters and conference attendees.

Deer is chief justice of the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals, University of Kansas professor and citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She will present "Sovereignty of the Soul" at 9:30 a.m., a topic that picks up on last year's discussion led by then-keynote presenter Elizabeth Kronk Warner. Deer and Kronk Warner have collaborated to bring attention to issues such as domestic violence against women across Indian Country.

Alex Red Corn, K-State assistant professor of educational leadership and citizen of the Osage Nation, believes Indigenous Peoples Day offers a counter-narrative to Columbus Day.

"The purpose of Indigenous Peoples Day is to offer a perspective that has long been overshadowed in education and legal systems — one that many people are learning about for the first time," Red Corn said. "It's about asserting our sovereignty in both intellectual and political contexts and our right to exist and control our own narrative because for a long time, our narrative has been controlled by nonnatives."

Susan Faircloth, professor and director of the School of Education at Colorado State University, chair of the National Indian Education Study technical review panel and enrolled member of the Coharie Tribe of North Carolina, will present "Education as an Impediment or Imperative of Sovereignty?" at 10:30 a.m.

Breakout panels will begin at 1:30 p.m. and topics include tribal criminal law, indigenous education and Osage language preservation.

Meredith McCoy, assistant professor and Andersen fellow of American studies and history at Carleton College and descendant of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, will present "Settler Colonial Realism: Historical Considerations for Contemporary Educational Sovereignty" at 2:30 p.m. McCoy co-authored a chapter with Red Corn in the education finance book published this summer, "Funding Public Schools in the United States and Indian Country."

Faircloth and McCoy will lead a joint breakout session on Indigenous education. Faircloth will present on the National Indian Education Study. McCoy will present "Teaching Hard History: Insights from Curricular Frameworks and Podcasting," based on her work with "Teaching Tolerance," a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The event concludes with the Kansas Association of Native American Educators meeting at 3:30 p.m.

Along with the Indigenous Faculty and Staff Alliance, event sponsors include the College of Education and its dean's office, educational leadership department, Diversity for Community Committee and social justice education graduate certificate program; College of Arts and Sciences and its dean's office, English department, Diversity Committee, American ethnic studies department and Chapman Center for Rural Studies; K-State LGBT Resource Center; Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies and Morse Department of Special Collections at the K-State Libraries; K-State Multicultural Engineering Program; Office of Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs; National Geographic Society Explorers; K-State Alumni Association; and K-State Office of Institutional Equity.

Written by

Patrice Scott