Texas State hosts Native American cultural awareness conference

By Lauren Lamb
University News Service
March 11, 2009

The Native American Student Association at Texas State University-San Marcos will host its third annual Native American cultural awareness conference 9 a.m.-7 p.m. March 25 in the LBJ Student Center.

The conference is sponsored in part by a gift from the Four Winds Intertribal Society, based in Killeen.  The society will dedicate its endowed scholarship fund, established in 2008, for Native American students at Texas State. The scholarship fund will be dedicated to the memory of Patricia Maxwell Duncan and will be called the FWIS Patricia Maxwell Duncan Memorial Native American Scholarship.

The conference is intended to promote diversity through an increased knowledge of cultural issues specific to Native Americans. By creating a deeper understanding of Native American culture, tradition, and history via storytelling, cultural exhibitions and lectures, the event can help to dispel stereotypes. A breakfast and pot luck lunch is being provided for all attendees as another way of of enhancing the idea of community and sharing among peoples.

Fourteen invited speakers will lead discussions about Native Americans topics ranging from archeological to cosmological. Chosen speakers and performers will promote understanding of Native American culture and way of life that connects to the old and the new. Scheduled speakers include:


Shannon Speed , Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology, University of Texas, will present "Indians are Indians, Here or There: Native Peoples of the U.S. and Latin America”     

Suzette Locke, secretary of the Chickasaw Community Council of South Texas, will present “The Only Good Indian" 
Greg Yawakia, Zuni, traditional teacher, will present “Utilizing our Native Gifts, the 4 Spiritual Directions” 

Phil Stucker, Northern Cherokee, NCNOLT, past chairman of the Four Winds Intertribal Society, will present “Finding your Genealogical Heritage" 

Grandmother Emma Ortega, Lipan Apache, will present "Broken Pots" 
William Harjo, Creek, will present on native languages 
Deerheart Hummingbird, Choctaw, will present "Perspectives on Women's Self Esteem: A Native Woman's Point of View" 
Orvie Longhorn, Kiowa-Caddo-Delaware, will present "Reel and Real Indians" 
Judy Cyr, Huron, lady's cloth powwow dancer, poet and horsewoman will present “Women’s’ Dance: In Relation to Healing”             
Chief Shellbone will present "Through the Buffalo: The Chiefs helped the People”
Kassa Willingham, Four Winds Intertribal Society, will present "Comanche Woman Living in a White Man's World" 
Ricardo Areazola and Daniel Rodriguez, Aztec dancers, will present "Atomic Theory and Aztec Dance"  
Ray Duncan, Cherokee, member of the Four Winds Society will lead a panel discussion.
A complete schedule of events can be viewed here. Expanded biographies of the program participants can be found here.

For additional information, contact Roxana Tuff, faculty advisor to the Native American Student Association, at (512) 245-1828 or via email at rt15@txstate.edu.