LEWISTON, Idaho – “Built through Stories & Language” will the theme for Lewis-Clark State College’s 35th annual Native American Awareness Week on March 16-18 on campus.
This year’s event features roundtable and panel discussions, speakers and games, and will culminate with the annual Closing Pow Wow. All events, except the Pow Wow, will be held at the Williams Conference Center (WCC), while the pow wow will take place at the P1FCU Activity Center, all on the LC State campus.
All events are free and open to the public. The college’s COVID-19 protocols will be followed on campus, which can be found on the college’s Coronavirus Resource Page.
Things kick off at 9 a.m. on March 16 with “Nez Perce Tribe 101.” It will be a discussion on the Nez Perce Tribe and tribal, cultural, environmental and economic projects. The speakers will be Samuel Penney, chair, and Shannon Wheeler, vice chair of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee.
At 10:30 a.m., Mandy Smoker Broaddus will discuss “Engaging Schools and Native American Communities through Culturally Responsive Education.” Broaddus has served at the tribal college, K-12 and state education agency levels across Montana where she is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes. She currently works with Education Northwest as a Native Education expert. She led Montana’s Indian Education for All work with a focus to include American Indian identity, culture and history in educational systems.
At 1:30 p.m., Beth Piatote will discuss her book “The Beadworkers: Stories.” Piatote is a writer, scholars, and indigenous language activist who is the author of two books. She is an associate professor of Comparative Literature and Native American Studies at the University of California-Berkeley. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and works in her heritage language of Nez Perce.
Anthropologist/ethnographer Rodney Frey will talk about “Carry Forth the Stories: A Ethnographer’s Journey Into Native Oral Tradition” at 3 p.m. Frey is a retired LC State and University of Idaho professor. His talk will give personal and professional insights into the power and value of storytelling gleaned from more than 40 years of successful work with Indigenous people.
All four of these discussions also will be available on Zoom using the link https://lcsc.zoom.us/j/85120710592.
Broaddus and Piatote will have a roundtable discussion with LC State faculty, staff and students at noon-1 p.m. They will also take part in an evening of storytelling at 6-7:30 p.m. at the WCC.
On March 18, at 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., there will be a Language Bowl. In collaboration with LC State Nez Perce Language classes and teachers, along with Nez Perce elders, students and teams from area high schools and colleges will compete. The competition will focus on the Nez Perce Language with the categories to be set based on the number of participants. LC State student Justin Rabago Johnson will lead the event at the WCC.
During the lunch break of the Language Bowl, there will be sweep the tipi and other games played. The location will be at either the WCC or the Fountain Area in the middle of campus.
The final event is March 18 and is the Closing Pow Wow and scholarship raffle. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m. The LC State Lifetime Achievement Award also will be presented at that time.
LC State’s Native American Awareness Week is sponsored by LC State, the Idaho Humanities Council, the Associated Students of LCSC, the President’ Diversity Commission, the Nez Perce Tribe, Pi’amkinwaas and the Clearwater River Casino and Lodge, and is presented by the LC State Native American Club.