Annual Native American Awareness Week at LC State will focus on ‘Sharing Identity’

Discussions on culture, language, and identity highlight the featured panels at the 33rd annual Native American Awareness Week at Lewis-Clark State College on March 17-20.

The theme for this year’s event is “Sharing Identity” and identity will be the focal point during two days of panel discussions. There will also be pow wows, a Friendship Banquet and the showing of the film “Reel Injun” along with the discussions. All events are free and open to the public.

The week kicks off with the annual Mini Pow Wow for area fourth grade classes on March 17, starting at 10 a.m. at the LC State Activity Center. That night, “Reel Injun” will be shown, starting at 6:30 p.m. in Room 115 of Sacajawea Hall on the college campus. The movie explores the portrayal of Native Americans through a century of movies with clips from hundreds of classic and recent Hollywood movies as well as interviews with film critics, historians, activists and celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Graham Greene and Wes Studi.

Four panels are scheduled for March 18 and three more on March 19, all at the Williams Conference Center on campus. Discussion topics include “Cultural Resources,” “Educational Histories within Area Tribes,” “Stories of Identity & Resiliency,” “Nez Perce Language,” “The Ethnohistory of American Indian Identity,” “Artisans and Identity,” and “Climate Change Initiatives and Issues.”

The week wraps up with the annual Friendship Banquet on March 19 at 6-9 p.m. in the Williams Conference Center and then the LCSC Pow Wow at 7 p.m. on March 20 at the LCSC Activity Center.

The week is presented by the LCSC Native American Club and Native American, Minority & Veterans’ Services office. Supporters include the Office of the President, Idaho Humanities Council, Associated Students of LCSC, the President’s Diversity Commission, Social Sciences Division, Teacher Education Division, LC State, the Nez Perce Tribe, Pi’amkinwaas, and the Clearwater River Casino & Lodge.

The full schedule for the weeklong celebration is listed below. For more information contact Robert Sobotta, director of Native American, Minority & Veterans’ Services, at 208-792-2858 or bsobotta@lcsc.edu.

All events will be held at the LC State Williams Conference Center unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, March 17

10-11:15 a.m. – Mini Pow Wow for area fourth grade classes, LC State Activity Center.

6:30-8 p.m. – Film “Reel Injun” Sacajawea Hall, Room 115.

Wednesday, March 18

9-10:15 a.m. – “Cultural Resources.” Panel: Nakia Williamson, Nez Perce Tribe Cultural Resources Director, and Quanah Matheson, Coeur d’Alene Tribe Cultural Resources Director. Facilitator: Amy Canfield, LC State Social Sciences professor.

10:30-11:45 a.m. – “Educational Histories within Area Tribes.” Panel: Joyce McFarland, Nez Perce Tribe Education Manager; Christine Meyer, Coeur d’Alene Tribe Education Director; Brandie Weakus, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Higher Education Coordinator; Claire Manning-Dick, retired counselor, Owyhee, Nev., combined schools. Facilitator: Bill Hayne, LC State Teacher Education professor.

1:30-2:45 p.m. – “Stories of Identity & Resiliency.” Elders Panel Discussion with Nez Perce elders: Silas Whitman, Leroy Seth, and Tonia Garcia, and Shoshone-Paiute elder Claire Manning-Dick. Facilitator: Jamie Olson, LC State Native American Alum.

3-4:15 p.m. – “Nez Perce Language.” Panelists: Nez Perce elders Bessie Scott and Florene Davis, and Nez Perce language students. Facilitator: Harold Cook, LC State Humanities professor.

Thursday, March 19

9-10:15 a.m. – “The Ethnophistory of American Indian Identity.” Panelists: Victor Begay, North Idaho College American Indian Studies chair. Facilitator: Chris Riggs, LC State Social Sciences Division chair.

10:30-11:45 a.m.  – “Artisans and Identity.” Artist Panelists: Wetalu Rodriguez, Kellen Lewis, Tasha Carlson and Chloe Nooskey. Facilitator: Sequoia Dance, LC State CAMP director.

1:30-2:45 p.m. – “Climate Change Initiatives and Issues.” Panelist: Aaron Miles, Nez Perce Tribe Natural Resources director; Stefanie Krantz, Nez Perce Tribe Climate Change coordinator; Brian Kummet, Nez Perce Tribe Natural Resources. Facilitator: Chris Norden, LC State Humanities professor.

6-9 p.m. – Friendship Banquet– Presentations of the NAAW Lifetime Achievement Award, the Isaac “Ike” Wilson Memorial Scholarship, and other scholarships.

Friday, March 20

7 p.m.-midnight – LCSC Pow Wow, LC State Activity Center.