LAWRENCE — The Office of Diversity and Equity at the University of Kansas is helping the university and Lawrence communities mark the approach of Indigenous Peoples’ Day with several events.
Activities include an appearance by U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, a film festival, research and scholarship panel discussions, an art exhibition and more.
“I’m pleased KU is able to play a role in bringing Representative Davids to campus for this important community celebration,” said Jennifer Ng, interim vice provost for diversity & equity. “This region has enduring ties to Native Americans and Indian Country, and it’s fitting that we take time to celebrate the many contributions of Native Americans as well as reflect on and acknowledge America’s grim history with regard to native communities. We have opportunities to learn and grow as individuals and as a community.”
Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which falls on Oct. 14 this year, is an opportunity to recognize the strengths and contributions of native culture to the United States. Commemorations can be traced back to a 1977 conference, in which the attendees decided one of the ways to support indigenous peoples is to observe the formerly recognized day of the discovery of America as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, according to a Time article.
Most of the activities are free and open to the public. Events are co-sponsored by Haskell Indian Nations University, KU Native Faculty and Staff Council, KU Indigenous Studies, Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity & Equity, the College Diversity, Equity & Inclusion office; KU Libraries; Spencer Museum of Art; Office of Admissions and the Lied Center of Kansas.
KU Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration Events
Congresswoman Sharice Davids
6 p.m. Oct. 8
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union
When U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., was sworn into the 116th Congress, she became one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress. Davids was raised by a single mother who served in the U.S. Army for 20 years. After graduating from Leavenworth High School, she worked her way through Johnson County Community College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City before earning a law degree from Cornell Law School. She is a “former” first-generation college student; Davids’ mother has since earned a bachelor’s degree. Davids’ career has focused on economic and community development, which included time as a White House Fellow under President Barack Obama.
In Congress, Davids sits on the Transportation & Infrastructure and Small Business committees. Davids is a member of the New Democrat Coalition Caucus, the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and the Congressional Native American Caucus, of which she is vice chair. She is a resident of Roeland Park and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, based in Wisconsin.
Native American Research/Scholarship Panel
3-4 p.m. Oct. 8
Watson Library, 3 West
Native American Student Research/Scholarship Panel
4-5 p.m. Oct. 8
Watson Library, 3 West
Quillwork Demonstration with Dana Warrington
5-5:45 p.m. Oct. 8
Award-winning quill artist Dana Warrington (Menominee/Prairie Band Potawatomi) will be on campus as the guest of the First Nations Student Association to demonstrate his quill work with the public. Warrington received Best of Show in Diverse Arts at the Santa Fe Indian Market 2019.
Native American Leadership Symposium (for Kansas high school students)
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 10
Registration is required. Cost is $15, and a reduced registration fee may be available. Optional tours will follow the scheduled symposium activities. Coordinated by the Office of Admissions
Indigenous Short Films Screening
7 p.m. Oct. 10
Lied Center Pavilion
The community is invited to be inspired by a showcase of indigenous animated short films. No tickets are required for this free event.