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Thursday, March 1 | 4:00-5:30 pm
William J. Bauer, Jr., Professor, Department of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
In 1935, Concow Austin McLaine, of northern California’s Round Valley Reservation, told an oral tradition about Lizard, who saw smoke wafting up from West Mountain, now known as Lassen Peak. The people in Lizard’s town planned to steal fire from Eagle, who selfishly kept the fire under his wings. The people teamed up, stole the fire, and raced with it back to town. Before they reached their roundhouse, however, Coyote grabbed the fire, dropped it and set the entire Sacramento Valley ablaze. Traditionally, scholars have treated oral traditions, such as the story of Lizard, as quaint myths. This presentation argues that California Indian oral traditions present an Indigenous version of California’s history and engaged in the political events of the Great Depression. California Indians used their oral traditions to challenge preexisting narratives of California’s past, to claim land and place in the 1930s and provide California Indians with a path to follow in the future.
Followed by a reception.
Multicultural Community Center (MCC), 220 Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, UC Berkeley
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Victoria Haskins, Professor, History, School of Humanities & Social Science, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
The remarkable story of Ruth Kellett Roberts (1885-1967) and her advocacy for the Yurok Tribe of Del Norte County on the Pacific northwest coast of California provides a fascinating insight into relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in the 1920s and 1930s, a time of rapid social change. The wife of the accountant of a salmon cannery at Requa on the lower Klamath, Ruth Roberts was befriended by local Yurok women, in particular Alice Spott, and quickly became a passionate supporter of the ongoing Yurok struggle for land and employment. Over the next two decades, until the closure of the river to commercial fishing, Roberts was a staunch advocate for the Yurok cause, utilising her connections with society women in the Bay area of San Francisco. In 1928 she formed a ‘Yurok Club,’ for the young Indian women whom she had assisted in finding domestic situations in the Bay. Her initiative would, however, bring her into direct conflict with the BIA Outing matron who oversaw the placement of other Indian girls in white homes in San Francisco and the Bay. In this paper, I reflect upon the ambivalent and complex nature of Roberts’ advocacy for the Yurok people through her involvement with Indian domestic employment, an engagement that highlights broader questions around the political significance and impact of women’s work in the home, in the modern settler colonial nation.
Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way
Co-sponsored by the American Indian Graduate Program, Native American Studies, American Indian Graduate Student Association, and Center for Race and Gender
Andrew Jolivette, Professor and former Chair, American Indian Studies Department, Affiliated Faculty, Race & Resistance Studies, Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Graduate Program in Sexuality Studies and Interim Executive Director, San Francisco American Indian Community Cultural Center for the Arts, SFSU
This talk examines how we can approach research from new ways that center collective responsibility and and shared ownership over the research process. In particular Jolivette will review the thinking behind the development of his edited volume, Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change and the influential work of Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Dr. Michelle Fine who are contributors to this project. Central to the presentation and discussion will be the work of the DataCenter, a grassroots community-based organization in Oakland where the term Research Justice was coined.
Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Wa
Co-sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change, Center for Race & Gender Social Movements Working Group, American Indian Graduate Program, Native American Studies, and American Indian Graduate Student Association
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Renya Ramirez, Associate Professor, Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz
Most Native Americans in the United States live in cities, where many find themselves caught in a bind, neither afforded the full rights granted U.S. citizens nor allowed full access to the tribal programs and resources—particularly health care services—provided to Native Americans living on reservations. A scholar and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Renya K. Ramirez investigates how urban Native Americans negotiate what she argues is, in effect, a transnational existence. Through an ethnographic account of the Native American community in California’s Silicon Valley and beyond, Ramirez explores the ways that urban Indians have pressed their tribes, local institutions, and the federal government to expand conventional notions of citizenship
Professor Ramirez’s ethnography revolves around the Paiute American activist Laverne Roberts’s notion of the “hub,” a space that allows for the creation of a sense of belonging away from a geographic center. Professor Ramirez describes “hub-making” activities in Silicon Valley, including sweat lodge ceremonies, powwows, and American Indian Alliance meetings, gatherings at which urban Indians reinforce bonds of social belonging and forge intertribal alliances. She examines the struggle of the Muwekma Ohlone, a tribe aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay area, to maintain a sense of community without a land base and to be recognized as a tribe by the federal government. She considers the crucial role of Native women within urban indigenous communities; a 2004 meeting in which Native Americans from Mexico and the United States discussed cross-border indigenous rights activism; and the ways that young Native Americans in Silicon Valley experience race and ethnicity, especially in relation to the area’s large Chicano community. A unique and important exploration of diaspora, transnationalism, identity, belonging, and community, Native Hubs is intended for scholars and activists alike. Professor Ramirez will discuss the theoretical frame of Native Hubs: Culture, Community, and Belonging in Silicon Valley and Beyond and a meeting between U.S. Natives and Indigenous people originally from Mexico in relationship to the concept of Native Hubs.
Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way
Co-sponsored by the American Indian Graduate Student Association, American Indian Graduate Program, Department of Ethnic Studies, Native American Studies and Native American Student Development
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Robert T. Coulter, Executive Director, Indian Law Resource Center
For almost 40 years, American Indian nations and other indigenous peoples have organized, worked, and advocated inside the United Nations and other international forums to defend themselves and their cultures and to win recognition of their rights as distinct peoples. Indigenous peoples fought and negotiated for more than 30 years to win adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations General Assembly, making historic changes in international law. Indigenous leaders also initiated on-going campaigns in many other international forms dealing with climate change, biodiversity and environmental protection, intellectual property rights, the rights of women, and many other crucial topics. Barely a year ago, they won major commitments from the United Nations to take actions to implement the UN Declaration at the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. They are working today to put those commitments into action in the UN. In the Organization of American States as well, indigenous peoples are negotiating and winning an American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is expected to be completed in 2016. In the view of some experts, advocacy in international fora may be one of the most productive means for defending and asserting the rights of Indian nations and tribes. The talk will survey what has been accomplished, what is being done now, and how Indian and Alaska Native nations can participate in this work. Attorney Robert T. Coulter of the Indian Law Resource Center has been working in the United Nations and other international bodies since 1976, when he wrote the first draft of what would become the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
November 5, 2015
Miskoo Petite Sr., Facility Administrator at Rosebud Sioux Tribe Corrections
Miskoo Petite Sr. has played an integral role in development of innovative cultural based programs and services for the youth detained in the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Juvenile Detention Center. At this talk he will provide a historical overview of federal policies and events that have helped to shape Native American justice systems, highlight the challenges facing these systems, and outline current practices that seek to restore and repair Native American communities by integrating cultural programs.
February 26, 2015
Bryan Brayboy, Borderlands Professor of Indigenous Education and Justice, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University
In Arizona and elsewhere, justice is a systematic struggle for recognition. Ethnic Studies programs were created, in Arizona, to provide a sounding board for youth and peoples whose voices are too often marginalized in classroom discussions and materials. Despite the high academic success rates of Tucson students enrolled in ethnic studies, these programs have been framed as dangerous and unproductive. Eventually, the courses were banned from the Tucson Unified School District. In this talk, I will reflect on the role of justice in creating, and later marginalizing, ethnic studies programs in Arizona, while contemplating the importance of youth, structures and social engagement.
Co-sponsored by UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education
Perspectives on Native Representations Symposium:
Dr. Adrienne Keene
Dr. Adrienne Keene, Migizi Penseneau & Matika Wilbur
While the history between Native peoples and representations of identity projected upon them (having been replicated and reinforced in popular culture) is layered and complex, the rise of technology and social media has ushered in an era of accessible activism that pushes against this history. Native peoples across the world now have practicable, highly visible modes to express unique voices that challenge and redefine how Natives are represented both internal and external of their communities. "Perspectives on Native Representations" seeks to highlight the multiple contexts through which representations of Native communities, culture and individuals are being shifted and re-imagined.
February 5, 2015
K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Professor of Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University; Distinguished Scholar in Indigenous Education, Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University
Many people understand that U.S. citizenship is a fraught and complicated status, one that raises many questions: Who is? Who isn’t? Who might be? Who shouldn’t be? Who’s scary? Who’s safe? Where shall we begin in order to talk about the status of American Indians? Not in 1492; or in 1620 – that’s much too long. We’ll start in 1924 (I am a historian, after all) because that’s the year Congress passed the American Indian Citizenship Act. And we’ll end, not with a date and not with answers, either, but with Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins visiting Zuni Pueblo.
Sponsored by Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues; co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Social and Cultural Studies Program and Graduate School of Education
November 20, 2014
Dian Million, Associate Professor, American Indian Studies, University of Washington, and author of Therapeutic Nations: Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights
I consider Indigenism today as an active and affective political position for peoples across continents seeking self-determination. In the United Nations, in Human Rights forums, and in communities Indigenism is a powerful lived and felt movement for our times. At the same time, Human Rights as it is articulated at the international level relies very heavily on the discourses of trauma and restitution to enact “justice” for atrocities committed by states against stateless and Indigenous peoples. Indigenous feminisms now present a growing grass roots response to a normalized violence haunting the lives of Indigenous women, their families and communities. This is a movement that both utilizes the human rights discourse and counters it. Recognizing that violence against Indigenous women undermines any self-determination in practice, how are women both central to the discourse of "trauma" while opposing its assumptions as they struggle for social and economic health? What is an Indigenous Feminist response?
Sponsored by the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues. Co-sponsored by American Indian Graduate Program and Department of Ethnic Studies
A free, day-long series of events, performances, and participatory activities.
Sponsored by the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues; the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; the American Indian Graduate Student Association; the American Indian Graduate Program; Native American Student Development; and Native American Studies.
Presentations by Daniel Wildcat, Josh Mori, and Beth Rose Middleton are available at the link above.
While Native American communities have historically maintained a special and deliberate relationship with their ecological landscapes, the concept of environmentalism is not often associated with these populations in a contemporary context. The layered connections between the cultural, historical, legal, and physical environment for Native communities in the United States have influence on not only their physical well-being, but on the economical and spiritual stability of these communities as well. Perspectives on Native Landscapes seeks to highlight the multiple contexts through which we approach environmentalism as well as open conversations around relationships with our landscapes, homelands and natural resource management concerning Native communities.
Sponsored by Native American Student Development. Co-sponsored by the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues
Feburary 24, 2014
Dale Walker, MD, Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Director, One Sky Center, Oregon Health and Science University
Co-sponsored by California Pacific Public Health Training Center (CALPACT), UC Berkeley-UCSFJoint Medical Program, Department of Psychology
November 13, 2014
Duane Champagne, Professor of Sociology, American Indian Studies, and Law, UC Los Angeles
Economic development, and social change in general, is a multidimensional and institutional process. An argument is offered that the patterns of indigenous institutional autonomy, the presence or absence of market values and institutions, access to markets, and the constraints of external bureaucratic control play key roles in understanding the possibilities of sustained and beneficial market participation among American Indian nations. In the way of introduction, the arguments are traced through the literature and examples given from history and policy. A case study is provided which traces economic, cultural, and political change among the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
March 13, 2013
Dr. Donald Warne, Director, Master of Public Health Program; Associate Professor and Mary J. Berg Distinguished Professorship in Women's Health, North Dakota State University