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UW-Eau Claire Celebrates American Indian Awareness Month with Variety of Activities
and Presentations

RELEASED: March 30, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will celebrate American Indian Awareness Month in April by hosting activities throughout the month. All events are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted.

Logo designed by UW-Eau Claire studentActivities include the following:

  • Monday, April 2, 3:30-5:30 p.m. — Opening Reception: Reflections on past, present and future American Indian contributions by Paul DeMain. DeMain, known as Skabewis in the Ojibwe language, is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin (Bear Clan) and a descendant of the Ojibwe of the Great Lakes region. DeMain is currently the CEO of Indian Country Communications, Inc., chairman of the Navajo Times Publishing Company and a member of the board for the Sequoyah Institute at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Presented by the UW-Eau Claire Native American Student Association and the American Indian Studies program. Fry bread and fry bread tacos will be served. There will also be a poster board display on the Indian Nations of Wisconsin and American Indian stereotypes and mascots. Tamarack Room, Davies Center.
  • Wednesday, April 11, 7-8:30 p.m. — "Oneida Lives: The Rediscovery of Forgotten Voices." Presentation by Dr. Herb Lewis, emeritus professor of anthropology, UW-Madison. Lewis uncovered a remarkable body of work written by members of the Oneida Nation in both English and the Oneida language when he discovered a carton in the department of anthropology's storage containing 167 notebooks filled with descriptions of Oneida life from the 1880s to 1940. The accounts were produced by more than a dozen Wisconsin Oneida Indians who wrote them in 1940-41 as part of the Federal Writers Project, funded by the Works Progress Administration of the New Deal. Lewis believes the notebooks were forgotten when the anthropologist in charge of them, H. Scudder Mekeel, died suddenly of a heart attack in 1947. Lewis and other UW-Madison representatives presented a copy of all the notebooks to the Oneida Nation in 1999, with the originals going to the State Historical Society. This presentation was made possible by a grant written by Dr. Helaine Minkus and funded by the UW-Eau Claire Academic Affairs Professional Development Program. Room 102, Hibbard Humanities Hall.
  • Tuesday, April 17, noon-1:15 p.m. — Debate: "American Indian Team Mascot and Logo." Presented by NASA and moderated by Elizabeth Beckfield, a member of the Bad River Ojibwe and a UW-Eau Claire graduate student. Davies Theatre, Davies Center.
  • Tuesday, April 24, noon-1 p.m. — Brown Bag lunch presentation: "Ojibwe Spirituality, Wisdom and Life Principles." Presented by Tony "Zahw-sko-giina-geejic" DePerry of the Northwestern Ontario Ojibwe. De Perry is an elder, traditional teacher and traditional healer with more than 20 years of cultural experience, lifestyle, teaching and healing. He conducts sweat lodge ceremonies, and teaches about native medicines and herbology. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and AIS. Refreshments will be served. Presidents Room, Davies Center.
  • Thursday, April 26, 4:30-5:30 p.m. — Pow-Wow Etiquette." Presented by NASA in preparation for the Honoring Veterans Pow-Wow on April 28. Schofield Auditorium.
  • 7-8 p.m. — Poetry Reading by Anishinnaabe poet Denise Sweet, Wisconsin Poet Laureate and UW-Green Bay professor of humanistic studies. Since earning her bachelor's and master's in English from UW-Eau Claire, Sweet has had more than 20 years of experience as an innovative educator, award-winning author, widely acclaimed presenter and creative communications consultant. She has authored five collections of poetry including "Songs for Discharming" which has earned multiple awards. Sponsored by AIS. Schofield Auditorium.
  • Saturday, April 28, 11 a.m. —"The 2007 Honoring Veterans Pow-Wow." Lance Tallmadge, Native American student services director for Wisconsin Dells Schools and a Ho-Chunk dancer and storyteller, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Events will include the 4th Annual Hand Drum Competition and men's fancy and grass dance specials. Grand entries will be at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and the feast is at 5 p.m. Veterans will be recognized during the afternoon activities. Admission (including the feast) is $5 or free for children under age 5 and seniors over age 55. Doors open at 11 a.m. All events at Zorn Arena.

The logo for the 2007 Honoring Veterans Pow-Wow was designed by UW-Eau Claire student Daniel Prescott, Eau Claire/Stevens Point.

Sponsors and organizers of the 2007 Honoring Veterans Pow-Wow include NASA; the Office of Multicultural Affairs; the American Indian studies program; University Activities Commission; Housing and Residence Life; the departments of history, social work, art & design, political science, and women's studies at UW-Eau Claire; as well as the Chippewa Valley Technical College Diversity Student Association and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

For more information, contact Odawa White, Office of Multicultural Affairs, at 715-836-5840 or whiteol@uwec.edu.

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NW

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