Too much going on now for me to get to this, but wish I could -- here's a news release from South Dakota State University:
BROOKINGS, S.D. — Oct. 7, 2014 — Four South Dakota tribal speakers will deliver perspectives on Native American life at the 26th annual Consider the Century conference at South Dakota State University Oct. 1.
CONSIDER THE CENTURY speaker Craig Howe gives a presentation on Lakota star knowledge Feb. 8, 2014. At the Oct. 17 Consider the Century conference, he will explain the origins and evolution of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies, which he directs near Martin.
All sessions are in the Volstroff Ballroom, University Student Union 101A, on campus.
Charles Woodard, a distinguished professor in the SDSU English department who has coordinated the conferences since they began, said, “We always have speakers who talk about their experiences of being native in the state and region, intertwining the historical and the topical.”
This year’s lineup is Craig Howe, Robert White Mountain, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn and Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan.
Howe is director of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS) near Martin and an adjunct professor in the architecture department at SDSU. His message is “Building from Within: Wingsprings and CAIRNS.”
The 50-minute talk at 11 a.m. will explain the origins and evolution of CAIRNS and describe the center’s current activities and educational programs as well as expressing visions for the future of the center and Wingsprings, on the Pine Ridge Reservation community where the center is located.
The center is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of American Indian communities and issues important to them. Part of that includes hosting workshops. In September, two sessions were conducted for members of the South Dakota Army National Guard and 36 SDSU students and staff members spent an afternoon there.
Howe, who holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan and is a member of Oglala Lakota Tribe, lives on the family’s cattle ranch on Pine Ridge Reservation.
Robert White Mountain
White Mountain, who is making his first appearance at the Consider the Century conference, will speak at 10 a.m. on “Learning and Re-Learning the Truths of the Earth.” Woodard said Mountain “is developing an important effort on Standing Rock Reservation, encouraging tribal people to connect with the earth and draw strength from it, heal and do things to help the earth and all its peoples.”
The Natural History Institute on the Standing Rock Reservation in McLaughlin was created in 2008 to renew cultural values and create sustainable living practices there.
According to the White Mountain, it is designed to:
Help break the vicious cycle of learned dependency of growing up in an impoverished area,
Encourage sobriety and healing from trans-generational posttraumatic stress syndrome.
Be an avenue for community members and others to learn the basics about natural law and how to connect with it, indigenous culture and sustainable living practices, such as gardens, green-building, renewable energies and technology. The institute works to create opportunities for healing that can help fulfill the fundamental need of people to live in a healthy environment with eco-friendly practices.
Cook-Lynn, of Rapid City, is a familiar face to the conference and has been the main mentor at the Oak Lake Writers’ Society since it began holding its annual retreats northeast of Brookings 21 years ago.
The accomplished author will speak at 1 p.m. on “Honoring Our History Through Art.” She is president of the First Nations Sculpture Project in Rapid City, and will explain the origins and history of the project and describe current and projected future efforts to make the project a reality.
Now in the fundraising stage, the plan is to have small sculptured busts of Dr. Charles Eastman, Nick Black Elk, Oscar Howe and Vine Deloria Jr. erected at the former Sioux Museum near Halley Park.
Tateyuskanskan closes the conference with the 2 p.m. talk “Dakota Women and Recovery Since 1862.” An artist and educator who has written and spoken extensively about the 1862 Dakota Conflict and its aftermath, Tateyuskanskan will discuss the cultural preservation and restoration work of Dakota women since 1862.
That was the year of a six-week war in southwest Minnesota that culminated in the hanging of 38 men and the imprisonment of 1,600 Dakotas, including many women.
Tateyuskanskan, who lives with her family in the rural community of Enemy Swim on the Lake Traverse reservation, is active in promoting social change and restorative justice through her participation in the Dakota Wokiksuye 38+2 Memorial Horse Ride and the Dakota Commemorative Walk.
She is published in an anthology about that walk, “In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors” (Living Justice Press, 2006), and she also is published in “This Stretch of the River” (Oak Lake Writers’ Society, 2006).
Documentary to premier Oct. 16
The conference will be preceded by the premier of “We’re Still Here, Celebrating 20 Years of History, Language and American Indian Lifeways,” a 40-minute documentary about the Oak Lake Writers’ Society and its annual fall retreat at Oak Lake northeast of Brookings.
The film by Northern Voyage Productions, directed by Jay and Paul Fishback of Brookings, was recorded at the 20th annual retreat in 2013.
The screening is 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Old Sanctuary, 928 Fourth St., Brookings. Admission is free.
Also this year, a revised edition of the 20th anniversary book “We’re Still Here” has been printed and will be available for purchase at the conference. It contains additional poems and essays from Native American writers about the retreat, Woodard said.
'A more harmonious … society'
He said he is “looking forward to the perspectives of the speakers we have chosen for the conference. They’re very knowledgeable and articulate people.
“There is always the possibility of bridge building at these events because the speakers have a lot of cross-cultural expertise. I always come away from the conferences with a stronger sense of possibility. There is a lot of creative thinking with what these speakers say and do.”
The conference draws students with an interest in American Indian histories and cultures plus some SDSU faculty members and staff as well as area residents.
Woodard encourages people to attend as many sessions of the conference as possible. “We cannot hope to create a more harmonious and just society unless we're willing to be more inclusive in our listening and our learning,” he said. “Consider the Century is an especially good opportunity to benefit from the insights and wisdoms of knowledgeable and articulate tribal people.”