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Registration opens, schedule announced for SE’s 15th Biennial Native American Symposium: “States of Sovereignty”

November 9, 2023

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University has announced the schedule and speakers for the 15th Biennial Native American Symposium – “States of Sovereignty” – which will be held on the Durant campus on Friday, November 17. This event will be a hybrid event, with online options available as well as in-person attendance.

Registration for this event is FREE and available online here through the Whova platform (account registration is required).

The symposium features speakers from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, East Central University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Bonn (Germany), the University of Mary (N.D.), the University of Memphis, the University of the Incarnate Word, and the University of Oklahoma.

Information on topics and speakers is available here.

[PDF FLYER] – Up-to-date information is always available at www.SE.edu/NAsymposium.

For more information on the symposium, please contact Mark Shields, Southeastern Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, at (580) 745-2052 or mshields@se.edu.

About the Native American Symposium

In recognition of the recent past, the event theme is “States of Sovereignty.”  We ask speakers and attendees to help put the unique circumstances of the post-McGirt world in context and conversations about the contested meaning of sovereignty.  As the work of scholars like Philip Deloria (Standing Rock Sioux) and Jean O’Brien (White Earth Band of Ojibwe) has repeatedly observed, Native presence has always been viewed through a settler-colonial prism relegating Native governance to a pre-modern world.  These assumptions continue to inform assessments of Native sovereignty, as evidenced by the 2022 Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta decision.

Our program also is interested in allowing participants a forum to consider the various “states” of Native sovereignty across North America.  How is sovereignty expressed politically, economically, culturally, educationally, and socially in a dynamic environment?  What steps must be taken by federal and state governments – working together with tribes – to affirm Native sovereignty?  We invite all to share how they believe the past and present will shape future sovereignty. 

The program focuses on proposals that reconsider Native business, leadership, education, career development, and inspiration.  Roundtables connecting the theme of “States of Sovereignty” to other topics such as Native American history, cultural identity, literature, art, philosophy, and film. 

The Southeastern Oklahoma State University Symposium is pleased to announce that our keynote speaker will be Poteet Victory (Cherokee-Choctaw), artist and owner of Victory Contemporary Gallery and Studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The goal of the Native American Symposium is to further the dialogue between three main participant groups: members of Indian Nations, members of the public community, and members of the academic community.  As a cultural bridge between these communities, the symposium aims to provide an intensive study of Native American cultures and to raise more interest in and awareness of ethnic identities in Oklahoma.