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2009 Native American Symposium and Film Festival

“Images, Imaginations, and Beyond”

November 4-6, 2009

Keynote Speaker Heather Rae

The Keynote speaker this year is film director and producer Heather Rae. Her best known work is the feature film Frozen River set in a Mohawk reservation on the Canadian border, which earned two Academy Award nominations last year. In 2005 she premiered the documentary Trudell on the Native American poet John Trudell at the Sundance Film Festival, and she has worked on more than a dozen other documentary films including 500 Nations, The Native Americans, and Storytellers of the Pacific

Members of the Conference Planning Committee

Dr. Daniel Althoff, English, Humanities, and Languages Co-Chair
Ms. Betty Andrews, Academic Advising and Outreach Center
Dr. Gleny Beach, Art
Ms. Amy Chapman, Student Life
Ms. Corie Delashaw, History
Mr. Dennis Miles, Library
Ms. Sharon Morrison, Library
Mr. Jack Ousey, Art
Ms. Camille Phelps, Multicultural Coordinator
Dr. Lucretia Scoufos, Communication
Ms. Camille Phelps, Multicultural Coordinator
Dr. Mark Spencer, English, Humanities, and Languages Co-Chair
Dr. Claire Stubblefield, Director, Office of Diversity
Ms. Susan Webb, Library
Dr. Robert Tudor, English, Humanities, and Languages

Schedule for November 4-5, 2009 Open Close


5:00 pm – Native American Room Library – Poetry and Short Story Readings

  • Ron Wallace, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Native Son: American Poems from the Heart of Oklahoma
  • Jeffrey DeLotto, Texas Wesleyan University, “Gutted on the Camino Real, A Two-Hawks Mystery”
  • Rollins, Elizabeth Marie, Louisiana Literature Press, Southeastern Louisiana University, “The Painted Sky”

7:00 pm – Fine Arts Theatre – Films

  • Tracy Deer, Club Native (78 minutes).
  • Explores issues of identity, belonging, relationships, and blood quantum among young Mohawk women in Canada.
  • Christine Welsh, Finding Dawn (73 minutes).
  • Documentary about the mysterious disappearance of over 500 young Native women in British Columbia, similar to the situation in Ciudad Juarez on the United States/Mexican border.


8:45 am – Student Union Atrium Loft – Welcome – Continental Breakfast

9:30 am – Native American Social Issues I – Student Union Auditorium 213

  • Jessica Yee and Sarah Flicker, Native Youth Sexual Health Network and York University, Canada
  • “Reclaiming Healthy Sexuality for the Next Seven Generations – The Native Youth Sexual Health Network” (workshop presentation)

9:30 am – Native American History – Student Union 323

  • Jennifer McKinney, Oklahoma State University, “The Dakota Uprising of 1862”
  • Tabatha Toney, University of Central Oklahoma, “Cheaper Than Bullets: American Indian Boarding Schools and Assimilation Policy, 1890-1930”
  • Paul McKenzie-Jones, University of Oklahoma, “Cultural Activism in the Powwow Arena”

9:30 am – Native American Arts I – Student Union 303

  • Yvonne Tiger, University of Oklahoma, “Larry McNeil: A Literal and Precise Tlingit/Nisgaa Messenger”
  • Christina Giacona, University of Oklahoma, “Indian Courtship Rituals and Contemporary Counterparts”
  • Paula Conlon, University of Oklahoma, “Iglulik Inuit Drum Dance: Past, Present, and Future”
  • Oksana Danchevskaya, Moscow State Pedagogical University, Russia, “Turquoise in the Life of American Indians”

11:00 am – Native American Social Issues II – Student Union Auditorium 213

  • Meta G. Carstarphen, University of Oklahoma, “Black Lines, White Spaces: Decoding a Rhetoric of Indian Identity in Select Oklahoma Newspapers”
  • Dwanna L. Robertson, Oklahoma State University, “What’s So Great About Being Civilized? Socio-Economic Implications for the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma”
  • Hester Anne Brown, University of Oklahoma, “Osage, Oil, and Oklahoma: Boom or Bust?”
  • Phyllis I. Behrens, “Down in a Valley, Up on a Ridge, Applying a Case Repertoire to Advanced Telecommunications and Rural Developments,” Midwestern University

11:00 am – Native American Education – Student Union 323

  • Anne Grob, University of Leipzig, “Empowering Native Students and Tribal Communities”
  • Melanie Price, Michael Kallam, and John Love, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, “The Learning Styles of Native American Students and Implications for Classroom Practice”
  • John Love, Michael Kallam, and Melanie Price, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, “A Review of the Current State of Preservation of Native American Culture and Language in Oklahoma Educational Entities”

11:00 am – Native American Literature I – Student Union 303

  • Richard Moon, San Antonio College, “Speaking Out: The Voice of the Native American Female Playwright”
  • Karen Walker, University of Arkansas, “Constructing Cross-Cultural Gender Identities: Overcoming Alienation in The Beet Queen”
  • Steven Sexton,, University of Oklahoma, “Misappropriations, Search for Identity, and Nationalistic Tendencies: A Critical Reading of Louis Owens’s Mixedblood Messages”
  • Joseph M. Faulds, Northeastern State University, “Up Through the Shining Gate of False Dreams: Foundational Images of Native People in the Epic Literature of Western Civilization from Vergil’s Aeneid”

Films – Student Union Auditorium 213

1:30 pm – Vicki Monks, Lost in Oklahoma (15 minutes), with remarks by the filmmaker.

  • Documentary on aspects of Oklahoma’s early statehood history and the reasons for Native American ambivalence towards the celebration of the Oklahoman centennial.

2:00 pm – Brooke Shackleford and Brooke Davis, Growing Up Chickasaw (10 minutes), with remarks by the filmmakers.

  • Documentary on the importance of preserving Native American languages. Includes interviews with tribal elders on what is was like growing up speaking Chickasaw.

2:30 pm – Nathan Maydole, Walking into the Unknown (65 minutes).

  • Follows the Ojibwe physician Dr. Arne Vainio, who works on the Fond du Lac reservation in northern Minnesota, as he undergoes a series of medical tests and screenings appropriate for middle-aged males, which Native American men all too often neglect to the detriment of their health.

3:40 pm – Sean Gantt, University of New Mexico, Stickball: Grandfather of All Sports, Little Brother of War (17 minutes).

  • Ethnographic documentary investigating the history, meaning, and importance of the traditional Choctaw sport of stickball. Contains interviews and footage shot in and around the Mississippi Choctaw Reservation and from the 2007 “World Championship of Stickball” match.

4:00 pm – Leslye Abbey, Bayou Landfall: The Houma Nation vs. the Hurricanes (18 minutes).

  • Documentary film exploring the impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 on a number of small Houma Indian settlements in lower Plaquemines, lower St. Bernard, and lower Jefferson counties of Louisiana.

7:00 pm – Fine Arts Theatre – Feature Film

  • Frozen River (2008)
    Produced by Heather Rae, our keynote speaker this year, this exciting and dramatic film is set in a Mohawk reservation on the border between Québec and New York State, where the lead characters become involved in smuggling illegal immigrants from Canada into the United States. Nominated for two Academy Awards last spring, including Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay.
Schedule for November 6, 2009 Open Close


7:30 am – Student Union Atrium Loft – Continental Breakfast

8:00 am – Native American Cinema I – Student Union Auditorium 213

  • David Barnes, “Alone with Ghosts: Acting Out Native American Identities,” Southeastern Oklahoma State University
  • Jennifer L. Gauthier, Randolph College, “’Where the Boys Are’: Gender, Genre, and National Identity in Native American Cinema”
  • Michael Snyder, University of Oklahoma, “Elvis as Indian in Film and Life”

8:00 am – Native American Sports – Student Union 323

  • Travis Larsen, Oklahoma State University, “Sixkiller to Bradford: The Portrayal of Native American Quarterbacks in the Mass Media”
  • Gabe Logan, Northern Michigan University, “’Running Wild’: Constructing Native American Identity in the 1928 International Trans-Continental Foot Race”

8:00 am – Native American Literature II – Student Union 303

  • Marija Knežević, University of Montenegro, “Trickster Maneuvers and The Toughest Indian in the World by Sherman Alexie”
  • Debashree Dattary, Jadavpur University, India, “Images from the Spoken Word: A Comparative Study of Kateri Akiwenzie Damm’s My Heart as a Stray Bullet and Standing Ground”

9:00 am – Native American Cinema II – Student Union Auditorium 213

  • Laura Beadling, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, “In a Native Key: Shelley Niro’s Revisioning of the Baroque Suite Form in Suite: Indian
  • Rebecca Saya Bobick, West Virginia University, “Images: Past, Present, Future”

9:00 am – Native American Social Issues III – Student Union 323

  • Chiquita Briley, Krystal Bowen Mississippi State University; Stephany Parker, Oklahoma State University & Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services; Sarah Miracle, Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services, Jean Van Delinder, Sandra Peterson, Embrey Pollet, Teresa Jackson, Oklahoma State University, “Pictures with a Voice: Understanding the Everyday Lives of Native Americans of the Chickasaw Nation in Developing a Nutrition Social Marketing Campaign”

9:00 am – Native American Literature III – Student Union 303

  • Ayde Enriquez-Loya, Texas A& M University, “Construction by Destruction of Identity: The Trickster in Wendy Rose’s The Halfbreed Chronicles”
  • Jessica Chainer, Duquesne University, “Returning ‘with special light’: Trauma, Native Masculinity, and the Near-Death Experience in Linda Hogan’s People of the Whale”

10:00 am – Native American Cinema III – Student Union Auditorium 213

  • Brittany Luby, University of British Columbia, “Sex in the Westerns: An Examination of Miscegenational Anxieties in John Ford’s The Searchers (1956), Two Rode Together (1961), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964)”
  • Chad Large, East Central University, “A Pawn for Profit: Evolution of Native Americans in the American Western”

10:00 am – Native American Social Issues III – Student Union 323

  • Patricia Ann Capot, University of Northern British Columbia, “Bingo Addiction within Aboriginal Families”
  • Regina T. P. Aguirre, The University of Texas at Arlington, “Preventing Native American Youth Suicide: What Do We Need to Know?”

10:00 am – Native American Literature IV – Student Union 303

  • Lindsey Kay Joyce, West Virginia University, “Coming Around: A Re-Vision of Horticulture and Culture in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes”
  • Grace Chaillier, Northern Michigan University, “Indian Female Characterization in Larry Watson’s Montana 1948.”

11:00 am – Native American Cinema IV – Student Union Auditorium 213

  • April E. Lindala, “The Indigenous Narrator: Radio Announcers within Native Films,” Northern Michigan University
  • Jennifer L. McMahon, East Central University, “Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Existential Significance of the Dead in Four Sheets to the Wind”
  • Tvli Jacobs, “Working as an Indian in a Non-Native World”

11:00 am – Native American Religion and Science- Student Union 323

  • Linda S. Covey, Lianoning Normal University-Missouri State University Branch Campus, School of International Business, “The Navajos’ Tradition-Transition to the Bahá’í Faith”
  • Raymond Pierotti, University of Kansas, “The Nature of Indigenous Science: Understanding the World from the Perspective of Relatedness”

11:00 am – Native American Literature V – Student Union 303

  • Shannon Vails, Weatherford College, “‘Shimmering Possibilities’ Amongst the Rubble: An Analysis of Joy Harjo’s ‘When the World as We Knew It Ended’”
  • Rachael Price, SUNY New Paltz, “Transcending the Borderlands: Elements of the Anzalduan Mestiza Consciousness in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony”
  • Francisco Q. Delgado, CUNY Brooklyn College, “A Means of Resistance: Basketball in Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven”

Films – Student Union Auditorium 213

1:00 pm – Steffany Suttle, University of Washington, Frybread Babes (30 minutes), Awakening of the Spirit (7 minutes), with remarks by the filmmaker.

  • Frybread Babes is a short documentary in which six Native American women discuss body image and identity with candor and humor. Awakening of the Spirit presents the Master Carver Robert Peele or “Saaduuts” (Tsimshian-Haida) and his work teaching traditional Native canoe-carving in the Seattle area.

2:00 pm – Lori Laiwa, University of California at Davis, “Ko’KoHintil Janoan: Contemporary Storytelling in Mendocino County, California” (12 minutes), with remarks by the filmmaker.

  • Four short stories on strange and unusual sightings on ten Indian Rancherias in Mendocino County. Highlights traditional Native storytelling techniques using multimedia technology.

2:30 pm – Donovin Sprague and Jace DeCory, Black Hills State University, TaSunke Witko – Crazy Horse (30 minutes), with remarks by the filmmakers.

  • Documentary that looks for insights into the mindset of the famed Lakota leader Crazy Horse through the landscape he walked, talked, and fought for in his short lifetime. Includes breathtaking photography and interviews with three Lakota educators.

3:20 pm – Leo Killsback, University of Arizona, The Chief’s Prophecy: Survival of the Northern Cheyenne Nation (60 minutes).

  • Documentary presenting an insider’s view of the people of the Northern Cheyenne nation, from the “Sweet Medicine” laws used by tribal elders to lead tribal society to the root problems the people suffer from today.

4:30 pm – Carol Cornsilk, University of North Texas, Indian Country Diaries: Spiral of Fire (82 minutes), with remarks by the filmmaker.

  • A journey with author LeAnne Howe to the North Carolina homeland of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee near the Smoky Mountains. Examines the natural beauty of the area and the people and institutions of the reservation, including a multimillion-dollar casino.

7:00 pm – Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC) – Keynote Banquet

8:00 pm – Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC)

Keynote Speech Heather Rae

The keynote speaker this year is the Cherokee film director and producer Heather Rae. Her best known work is the feature film Frozen River set in a Mohawk reservation on the Canadian border, which earned two Academy Award nominations last year. In 2005 she premiered the documentary Trudell on the Native American poet John Trudell at the Sundance Film Festival, and she has worked on more than a dozen other documentary films including 500 Nations, The Native Americans, and Storytellers of the Pacific.

2009 Proceedings of the Eighth Native American Symposium