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George Vlahakis

Last modified: Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Lecture series to accompany first IU Pow Wow

A new Native American issues lecture series on March 28 and 29 will be part of the inaugural First Nations at Indiana University Pow Wow at IU Bloomington. The series will feature speakers on American Indian genocide, Native American literature, and a Navajo storyteller and folklorist.

Lectures by faculty from the University of Colorado and the University of Toronto, by a Menominee poet and by a Dine' storyteller and folklorist will precede a pow wow at the IU Fieldhouse on March 29 and 30.

Ward Churchill, professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado and a Keetoowah Cherokee, will present the opening lecture, "A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas from Columbus to the Present." Churchill's lecture will begin at 1 p.m. on March 28 in Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union.

Later that evening, at 6:30 p.m. in Woodburn Hall, Room 101, Sunny Dooley, a native Dine' (Navajo) storyteller and folklorist from Chi Chil Tah, N.M., will discuss Din Blessing Way Stories. The stories Dooley tells have been told for generations from her matrilineal clan of the Saltwater People Clan. Having Dine' as her first language, Dooley interprets her people's stories in English with all of their rich cultural, traditional and historical context.

On March 29, Chrystos, a Menominee poet from Bainbridge Island, Wash., will speak on the subject, "Decolonizing the Mind with the Wind of Words." Her presentation will begin at 10 a.m. in the Fine Arts Building, Room 015. Chrystos is a self-educated writer and artist whose work as a Native land and treaty rights activist has been widely recognized. The political aspect is an essential part of her writing.

Closing the series of lectures will be a presentation by Simon Ortiz, professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto and an Acoma Pueblo, on "Resistance Through Native Literature on Land, Culture and Community." His presentation will begin at 1 p.m. on March 29 in Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union. Ortiz has been a poet and writer for more than 30 years and is the author of several books.

Convenient public parking is available in lots located on Seventh Street adjacent to the Indiana Memorial Union.

The pow wow and lecture series are being sponsored by the IU Office of the Vice President for Student Development and Diversity, the IU Office of Research and the University Graduate School, the IU Office of Multicultural Affairs, the IU Department of Anthropology, the Indiana Memorial Union and the Bloomington Visitors Bureau.

For more information about the pow wow or the lectures, contact Wesley Thomas, IU assistant professor of anthropology and organizer of the events, at 812-855-3862 or Information also is available at