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Native People of the Americas Colloquium

Native People of the Americas Colloquium 2019

November 18-19, 2019

Indigenous Futures/Futurisms

The colloquium is a yearly forum at the University of Dayton intended to give voice to indigenous issues, perspectives and experiences. In emphasizing the value that comes from understanding and engaging Native perspectives, we can construct a community that is truly inclusive.

Circle of Light, an inclusion and diversity program at the University of Dayton, and a planning committee of University faculty and staff coordinate the Native Peoples of the Americas Colloquium. Mary Anne Angel founded Circle of Light in 2000.

*Registration required for some events

NPAC Committee

Tereza Szeghi, co-chair
Tom Morgan, co-chair

Mary Anne Angel
Nick Cardilino
Daria-Yvonne Graham
Stephanie Litka
David Luftig
Shannon Toll
Scott West


The NPAC planning committee would like to extend our gratitude to our sponsors, collaborators, presenters and attendees.

Internal Sponsors

Arts and Sciences Cluster Coordinating Committee, Center for Social Concern, Circle of Light Program, Department of Communication, Department of English, University Graduate School, Graul Chair in Arts and Languages, Department of History, Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Department of Philosophy, Department of Religious Studies, University Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the Women’s Center

External Sponsors

Chaske Hotain Singers, Ga-Li, Medicine Bow Forge, Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Tonawanda Seneca Reservation, Two Trees Inc. and Weinkauf Film Productions Keynote

Monday, November 18
*Music and storytelling will be provided between sessions by Ga-Li*
Native Blessing Ceremony
Central Mall (rain location: Kennedy Union ballroom), 9:05 A.M.
Land Acknowledgement and Connections between the University of Dayton and Indigenous Communities

KU Ballroom, 10:10 a.m.

President Eric Spina, Provost Paul Benson, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Larry Burnley, John Low (Professor of American Indian Studies, Ohio State University) and members of the Native Peoples of the Americas Colloquium planning committee will discuss past, current, and future initiatives linking the University of Dayton to indigenous communities, and also offer an acknowledgement to the traditional indigenous peoples of the lands on which the university now sits. This event will be moderated by Shelley Inglis, Executive Director of UD’s Human Rights Center and Research Professor of Human Rights and Law.

From Standing Rock to Dayton: Developing and Sustaining Partnerships

KU Ballroom, 11:15 a.m.

This panel is an interactive discussion that considers how UD has engaged in developing partnerships with indigenous communities. Students, faculty, and staff who have participated in events such as service-learning trips to Standing Rock Reservation will share their experiences and perspectives on how to continue to build conscientious relationships between our community and historically marginalized populations.

Speakers include Dr. Malcolm Daniels (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Director of ETHOS Center;), Dr. Tom Morgan (Director of Ethnic Studies), Ruthey Schultz (Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies Major Class of 2020), Bailey Johnson (Human Rights Major Class of 2020; President of Feminists United; and Intern for Abolition Ohio), Mary Catherine Donovan (Music Performance Performance; Certificate with Nonprofit & Community Leadership Class of 2020), Diversity Peer Educators (Promoting social justice through peer-to-peer workshops; facilitate exploration of group dynamics and identity) will moderate.

Luncheon: The Universal Language of Music and Storytelling: A Native Perspective with Alicia Pagan and Raymond Two Crows Wallen

Pagan and Raymond Two Crows Wallen

KU Ballroom, 12:20 p.m.

RSVP to or to Karen Rolfe at 937-229-2524
Indigenous Peoples and the Policing of the U.S.-Mexico Border

KU Ballroom, 2:30 p.m.

This panel discussion addresses current U.S. practices at its border with Mexico, including family separation, restrictions to asylum requests and processes, and challenging legal standards around immigration and asylum. Speakers will address these issues from a range of perspectives, including legal, philosophical, and human rights.

Speakers include Dr. Miranda Hallet (Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work; Human Rights Fellow), Dr. Joel Pruce (Department of Political Science; Human Rights Fellow; Moral Courage Project Director), Alicia Pagan (singer, storyteller; Arts and Language educator, M.Ed.; Multicultural Outreach, Wright State University; Greater Columbus Arts Council; Ohio Humanities Council; Director and Co-Founder of Ga-Li; LULAC Council #39000 Education Chair; Co-Founder Del Pueblo Inc.; Miami Valley Council for Native Americans; Board member Two Trees Inc.), Lance Soto (enrolled member of the Cocopah Indian Tribe; Director of the American Indian Movement Indiana/Kentucky chapter), and Dr. Ernesto Velásquez (Department of Philosophy). Dr. Tereza Szeghi (Department of English; Human Rights Fellow) will moderate.

Christina Roberts, Weaving at the Intersections: Imagining Decolonial Partnerships

KU Ballroom, 4:30 p.m.

In Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, Linda Tuhiwai Smith places emphasis on the fact that “Imperialism still hurts, still destroys and is reforming itself constantly." Contemporary settler-colonial realities are no exception, and the current political landscape in the U.S., Brazil, and other nation states reveal the ways in which capitalism, heteropatriarchy, and individualism interact and reinforce contemporary imperialisms that actively harm Indigenous peoples. To dare to imagine decolonial partnerships is to engage in a type of generative resistance, and Dr. Roberts will draw inspiration from Leanne Simpson’s words from As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance: “If we want to create a different future, we need to live a different present, so that present can fully marinate, influence, and create different futurities. If we want to live in a different present, we have to center Indigeneity and let it change us."  

Christina Roberts (Gros Ventre and Assiniboine) is an associate professor of English and co-founder of Indigenous Peoples Institute at Seattle U.  She received the James B. McGoldrick fellowship in 2018, the highest honor for a Seattle U faculty member, and she has also been honored as Teacher of the Year by the graduating class of 2017.  Christina authored articles for The Kenyon Review and Studies in American Indian Literatures, and she is currently working as a general editor for a new anthology of American literature for Broadview Press. 

Tuesday, November 19
*Music and storytelling will be provided between sessions by Ga-Li*
The Politics of Chocolate

KU Ballroom, 11 a.m.

Facilitator: Corine Fairbanks   

This presentation will include a history of the cacao bean’s cultivation, consumption, and trade, along with its spiritual and cultural issues by indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. Speakers will address how it was pillaged by European explorers and how the history of this delicious bean serves as an apt metaphor for the colonization of indigenous peoples themselves. Information also will be provided about current industry practices and ongoing issues with proper ownership and reparations.

Videos, maps, and chocolate samples included.

Corine Fairbanks is an Oglala Lakota writer, educator and activist. Fairbanks is currently one of the lead organizers for the Southwestern region American Indian Movement of Ohio and a member of W.A.R.N. (Women of All Red Nations).

Luncheon: Honoring Mary Anne Angel, Founder of NPAC, and the Lakota's Bridge Tiospaye
KU Ballroom, 12:30 p.m. 

RSVP or to Karen Rolfe at 937-229-2524. The lunch is first come, first served, so please RSVP promptly.

Forging Outside the Lines: Blacksmithing Workshop

Facilitator: Leon Briggs

KU Ballroom, 2 p.m.

Forging leafs and smaller finials, the art of working common metal into realistic looking forms found in the natural world, the use of fire, hammers and anvil to create pieces of art. This session includes a talk by Leon Briggs about the art of blacksmithing, with opportunities for participants to do their own metal-working.

Leon Briggs (Seneca Nation, Tonowanda Reserve) is a blacksmith and owner of Medicine Bow Forge, traditional artist and craftsman, educator on traditional Seneca arts and crafts, history and culture, spirituality, herbology, stories/mythology, American Indian Movement, colonization, treaties, boarding schools, and indigenous rights.

RSVP for this event at or to Karen Rolfe at 937-229-2524. Spaces are first come, first served.

Keynote Address: Daniel Heath Justice, The World is our Wounded Relatives: Considering Kinship at the Edge of Oblivion

KU Ballroom, 4:30 p.m.

We hear it constantly: on social media, in legacy news, in political discourse and everyday conversations. The world is a dumpster fire; all we know is hurtling toward oblivion; our environment/traditions/institutions/cultures are in steep decline, everything is unraveling. There is a sense of nihilistic inevitability in these narratives, an insistence that the world is broken beyond repair.

But what if, instead of a fragile thing, we instead think of the world as a network of wounded relatives—how does our response change? What choices do we make? How do we engage the world and our moral agency differently?

This presentation considers these questions through considering works by Indigenous writers that take up the complicated context of kinship in times of catastrophe, and considers how these visionaries offer possibilities of meaningful continuity beyond narratives of brokenness and despair.

Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation) is Professor of First Nations and Indigenous Studies and English at the University of British Columbia, where he is Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture. He has published extensively in the Indigenous Literary Studies, inclusive of  numerous critical and creative works. In 2018 he published Why Indigenous Literatures Matter, an innovative and genre defying volume in which he addresses a wide range of indigenous literatures, with particular attention to what makes us human, how we become good relatives, how we become good ancestors, and how we learn to live together. Some of his creative work includes The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles, an epic fantasy trilogy. 

Additional Events
Book Reads

The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles

Both book reads will be held in Humanities room 257

Facilitators: Christina Baker/Shannon Toll (Oct. 29 @ 5 pm) and Tereza Szeghi (Nov. 12 @ 4 pm)

To obtain a copy of the book or a pdf of the specific selections we will discuss, please contact Dr. Christina Baker at

Film Series

Sept 26, 7-9 pm Sears Recital Hall: Reel Injun (documentary)

Oct. 24, 7-9 pm Sears Recital Hall: Awake: A Dream From Standing Rock (documentary)

Dec 5, 7-9 pm Sears Recital Hall: Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World  (documentary)


Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center

Alumni Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0318