Washington and Lee to celebrates Indigenous People’s Day with public lecture

washington and leeWashington and Lee University presents a public lecture with Katrina Phillips, an assistant professor of American Indian history at Macalester College and an enrolled member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe.

The talk, which is open to the public to watch online, will be Monday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. It is titled “Indigenous People’s Day: Minneapolis, American Indians, Police Brutality & Community.”

The public can register for the virtual event for free at go.wlu.edu/indigenous-peoples-day-celebration. 

The cohort, which was founded by W&L faculty and staff with native heritage, was formed last year to illuminate Native American history and culture.

“After last year’s successful Native American Heritage Month, we decided that our activities and programming should not be limited to November,” said Kelly Fujiwara, W&L special events coordinator and a founder of the cohort. “Our goals have always been big – because why not? Through researching other colleges and universities, we began to identify best practices and were inspired by the curriculum and programming being offered.”

During her lecture, Phillips will discuss her Washington Post article, “Longtime police brutality drove American Indians to join the George Floyd protests.” Her discussion will also include W&L’s Native American Cohort members Fran Elrod, the associate director of the Shepherd Program at W&L; Kelly Fujiwara, Miwok descendant and W&L’s special events coordinator; Joseph Guse, a professor of economics at W&L; Harvey Markowitz, a professor of anthropology at W&L; and Jessica Wager, a Muscogee descendant and W&L’s executive assistant to the provost. The group will discuss additional Indigenous rights topics and the interconnectedness of current social movements.

Phillips will also return in 2021 as a guest of the Africana Studies yearlong series, “Activism and Black Life.”

Other Native American Cohort-sponsored events that will be free and open to the public virtually this year include a series hosted in partnership with Hillel that starts in November called “Joining Voices: Native American and Jewish community.”

For more information and to register in advance, visit my.wlu.edu/office-of-inclusion-and-engagement/programs-and-events/native-american-heritage-month.

“Whether you are an enrolled member of a tribe, have a family tie to a native lineage, or are just interested in learning more about Native American topics we are bringing forward, you are welcomed to every event the cohort sponsors,” said Fujiwara.

To learn more, the Native American Cohort invites the community to reach out and email them at native@wlu.edu.


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