Published On: Fri, Aug 5th, 2011

State of Sequoyah Conference brings renowned speakers to Holiday

     TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation presents the annual State of Sequoyah Conference on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 1-2, leading into the 59th Cherokee National Holiday. The conference will address Native issues and be held in the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center on the campus of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla. Several speakers renowned in the fields of academia and literature will be featured.

     Speakers slated for Thursday, Sept. 1, will address topics related to Native economic development, history and contemporary studies. After a keynote welcome address at 1 p.m., speakers for the afternoon include Cherokee Nation tribal councilors Julia Coates and Cara Cowan Watts, Wyman Kirk with NSU’s Cherokee Language Program, Courtney Lewis, a Cherokee graduate student studying anthropology, Julie Reed with University of North Carolina and Sonia Genslar, author of “The Revenant,” a young adult novel set in the 1890s at the Cherokee Female Seminary.On Friday, Sept. 2, Native warriors and war will be the focus of discussion, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Jim Northrup, a Vietnam veteran and respected poet, will deliver the keynote address and “Way of the Warrior,” a documentary by the University of Wisconsin’s Patti Loew, will be shown.

     Additional speakers scheduled to make appearances that morning include Tom Holm, professor emeritus from the University of Arizona, Stephanie E. Birdwell, director of tribal government relations for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Rogan Noble with Cherokee Nation’s Veterans Affairs Office, NSU veterans counselor Russell Waid, Phyllis Spears, RN, from the Southern Arizona VA health care system, and Matthew Tiger of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Veterans Office and Tulsa Vet Center. From 1:15 p.m. until 5 p.m., tribal sovereignty and governance will be discussed by academics Terry Scott Ketchum from the University of Oklahoma, Steve Russell, professor emeritus from Indiana University and author of “Sequoyah Rising: Problems in Post-Colonial Tribal Governance,” and Matthew L.M. Fletcher, associate professor at the Michigan State University College of Law.

     The conference is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to preregister and arrive at the conference early. For more information, or to reserve a seat, call 918-453-5466 or 918-453-5423 or email richard-allen@cherokee.org or brianna-thirion@cherokee.org for further details.

– Cherokee Nation

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