San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 9th, 2008
Texas State hosts Native American Cultural Awareness Conference

By Jayme Blaschke
University News Service

SAN MARCOS – The Native American Student Association at Texas State University-San Marcos will host the 2nd Annual Native American Cultural Awareness Conference April 16 in the LBJ Student Center on campus.

The conference is sponsored in part by a gift from the Four Winds Intertribal Society, based in Killeen. The society will present a $5,000 scholarship to Vice President for Student Affairs Joanne H. Smith and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Multicultural Student Affairs Sherri Benn.

The conference is intended to promote diversity through an increased knowledge of cultural issues specific to Native Americans, creating a deeper understanding of Native American culture, tradition, and history via storytelling, cultural exhibitions and lectures. Interaction with Native American members of the community will help to dispel stereotypes and a feast of traditional food is also planned as part of the sharing between peoples.

Eighteen invited speakers will engage in open-minded discourse about Native Americans by presenting tangible archeological and cultural facts about Native Americans. Chosen speakers and performers will promote a current understanding of Native American culture and way of life that connects to the old and the new, including Native speakers who will speak on topics rarely discussed among non-Indians. Scheduled speakers include:

F. Kent Reilly, Ph.D., CASAA, Department of Anthropology at Texas State and noted scholar of Mesoamerican and North American Indian art, will present
“The Cave and the Beneath-World: A Mythic Dragon From the North American Past”

Dan Arellano, past president of the Greater Southwest Austin Optimist Club, the past commander of Tejanos in Action and vice president of the Tejano Genealogy Society will present “Native American Involvement in the Battle of Medina”

Ray Duncan, Cherokee, chairman of the Keetowah and a member of the Four Winds Society will present “The Native Way Comes Full Circle”

Lasaro “Chief” Arriolo, Comanche/Apache, will play native flute, dance and perform storytelling with his wife, Julie Bridges.

Grandmother Emma Ortega, Lipan Apache, will present “Listening to an Old Apache Woman’s Heart”

William Harjo, Creek, will present on race relations.

Shelly Williams, Southern Ute, ceremonial leader, turquoise miner and jeweler will present “Water is Life, and How to Follow Spirit”

Dan Rangel, Azteca, with 30 years of Straight Dance experience will present “Southern Straight Dancing Regalia explained”

Maryanne Kridner, RN, BSN, CDE, Keetowah, AADE, ADA, will address current health issues, such as diabetes and its prevalence among Native peoples

Phil Stucker, Northern Cherokee, NCNOLT, past chairman of the Four Winds Intertribal Society, will present “At the End of the Trail (of Tears)”

Tacha Eaglehorse, Lower Brule Sioux, an old-style traditional dancer, living history presenter, model and actor will present “Bridging Two Worlds and Following the Powwow Circuit”

Robin Cohen, assistant professor of English at Texas State is an expert on Native American writers.

Steve Ashley, a creek walker, explorer and metal sculptor will present “Rivers & Streams of Texas: The Pathways of Exploration & Settlement”

Orvie Longhorn, Kiowa-Caddo-Deleware, will present “Surviving Relocation”

Judy Cyr, Huron, lady’s cloth powwow dancer, poet and horsewoman will present “The Old Ways: Educating so We Can Survive”

Aaron Pyle, Choctaw, musician, will present “Native American Music Past and Present”

Dennis Eagle Horse, Lower Brule Sioux, will present the opening prayer in Lakota

Greg Yawakia, Zuni, traditional teacher, will present “Utilizing our Native Gifts, the 4 Spiritual

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