Montana State University

MSU conference on indigenous perspectives on environmental sustainability to be held April 1-2

March 22, 2010

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A free two-day conference on indigenous perspectives on environmental sustainability will be held April 1 and 2 in the Strand Union Ballrooms at Montana State University.

"Earth Rights: Learning the Language of Indigenous Environmentalism," will bring together students, scholars, specialists and tribal leaders to create a dialogue for a sustainable future with indigenous communities in mind, organizers said.

"This conference will focus on the state of indigenous communities today and how sustainability is a necessary component as these communities move forward in efforts of self-determination," said Phenocia Bauerle, program director for MSU's Office of Diversity Awareness.

Presentations from graduate students around the nation, scholars and community activists will focus on a variety of projects and perspectives geared to promote forward thinking for indigenous community planning, Bauerle said.

Henrietta Mann, MSU Native American Studies professor emeritus and currently president of the Cheyenne Arapaho Tribal College in Weatherford, Okla., will be one of three keynote speakers. She is joined by Daniel Wildcat, American Indian Studies professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas and Walter Ritte, Jr., Native Hawaiian activist and director of the Hawaiian Learning Center.

The conference will also include presentations from Red Feather Development, Crow Water Quality Project, Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leadership Council and a performance by the University of Montana-Western Polynesian Dancers.

A complete schedule may be viewed at http://www.montana.edu/diversity/EarthRights.html.

The conference will conclude at 5 p.m. Friday, April 2, in time for the MSU American Indian Club Pow Wow. For more information about the pow wow, go to: http://www.montana.edu/wwwnas/club/powwow_09.htm
Or, contact Jim Burns at (406) 994-4880 or jburns@montana.edu, or call MSU Department of Native American Studies, (406) 994-3881.

The Center for Native Health Partnerships is also sponsoring a Native Men's Health Summit at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 1, in conjunction with the indigenous environmental perspectives conference. The summit, which is free and includes lunch, will be held in the Procrastinator Theater in MSU's Student Union Building. For more information about the Native American Men's Health Summit, go to http://crowmenshealth.org/pdf/MensHealthSummit2010.pdf

"Earth Rights: Learning the Languages of Indigenous Environmentalism" is sponsored by MSU's Diversity Awareness Office, MSU's Department of Native American Studies, the Office of President, the Crow Men's Health Project, INBRE, BioRegions Project, MSU's Department of Graduate Education, Department of Health and Human Development, Campus Sustainability Advisory Committee and Buffalo Nations.

For more information, contact the Diversity Awareness Office at (406) 994-5801 or e-mail diversityawareness@montana.edu.

Phenocia Bauerle (406) 994-5801 phenocia.bauerle@montana.edu