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News Release

“Empowering the Future” theme of LCSC’s Native American Awareness Week

LEWISTON, Idaho - Lewis-Clark State College’s 28th annual Native American Awareness Week will be held March 17-20.  The theme is “Empowering the Future.”  All events are free and open to the public.

Activities begin Tuesday morning at the LCSC Activity Center with the annual LCSC Mini-Pow Wow. All area 4th grade classes are invited. Wednesday and Thursday feature a variety of speakers addressing subjects including tribal histories and stories, environmental issues, and Indian education. This year’s speakers includes actor Chaske Spencer, who graduated from Clearwater Valley High School in 1994 and acted as a young teen at the Lewiston Civic Theater. Spencer went to college at LCSC for a year before leaving to pursue his acting career. At Thursday evening’s Friendship Banquet, LCSC Native American and Minority Student Services recognizes all the Native American students who received scholarships for the year and Native American students select an elder for a Lifetime Achievement Award. The week ends Friday March 20 with the annual LCSC Pow Wow at 7 p.m. in the Activity Center.

The complete schedule is listed below.

Tuesday, March 17

10:00 - 11:15 a.m. Activity Center:  Mini Pow Wow. All area 4th grade classes are invited

Wednesday, March 18

9:00 - 10:15 a.m. Williams Conference Center (WCC):  Songs and Ceremony, featuring Michael Penney & the Wap-qa-qaan Nez Perce Nation Drum and Nez Perce Tribal Elder Wilfred Scott

10:30 - 11:45 a.m. WCC:  “Nimiipuu 101,” a forum focused on creating a stronger understanding of the Nez Perce Tribe with tribal leaders including Executive Director Rebecca Miles

1:30 - 2:45 p.m. WCC:  “Education and Elders Panel on Empowering the Future,” a panel discussion featuring Silas Whitman, Chairman Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee; Dr. Christine Meyer, Coeur d’Alene Tribe Department of Education; and Simone Wilson, Nez Perce Tribal Enterprises and Jim Spencer, Retired Counselor & Educator – facilitated by Bill Hayne, Director of Education Field Experience at LCSC

3:00 - 4:15 p.m. WCC:  “Tribal Energy Issues,” a panel discussion facilitated by Chris Norden, Humanities Professor at LCSC

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. WCC:  DamNation, a film review of an ecological issues documentary on dams and dam removal with panel discussion to follow

Thursday, March 19

9:00 - 10:15 a.m. WCC:  “The Legacy of Vine Deloria, Jr. in Indigenous Studies,” a panel discussion with Phillip Allen, Native American Studies Faculty at Northwest Indian College; Amy Canfield, Associate Professor of History at LCSC; Kathy Lewis, American Indian Studies Instructor at North Idaho College; and Christopher Riggs, Professor of History at LCSC

10:30 - 11:45 a.m. WCC:  “Artisans and Their Craft,” a panel discussion with  Abe Yearout, Nez Perce Metal Art; Ethel Greene, Northwest Indian College; Jenny Williams, Lapwai High School Native Arts Instructor; and Kevin Peters, Nez Perce National Historical Park – facilitated by Ray Esparsan, Professor of Art at LCSC

1:30 - 2:45 p.m. WCC:  “Chaske Spencer – A Discussion of his Career and his Empowerment Through Film and Acting,” facilitated by Rhett Diessner, Professor of Psychology at LCSC

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.  Activity Center Conference Room 1:  Native American Alumni Chapter meeting & social

6:00 - 9:00 p.m. WCC:  Friendship Banquet – NAAW Lifetime Achievement Award, the Isaac “Ike” Wilson Memorial Scholarship, and other scholarships will be presented

Friday, March 20

7:00 p.m. - midnight  Activity Center:  LCSC Pow Wow

A full agenda of the week’s activities is available at:

For more information please contact Bob Sobotta at 792.2812 or 792.2858 or [email protected].