Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Northwestern's Center for Native American and Indigenous Research hosts 6th annual research symposium

Media invited to attend May 16-17 events with scholars, tribal leaders

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Just weeks after a historic federal victory prompted an Illinois Tribal Nation to resume ownership of 1,280 acres of stolen land, Northwestern University’s Center for Native and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) will host Indigenous academic and thought leaders to map future growth and protections for Native and Indigenous communities at its 6th annual research symposium in Evanston.

Participants and leaders will discuss that development, as well as other key dynamics in the 100 years since Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on May 16-17 at the Women’s Club of Evanston, 1702 Chicago Ave.

“We see this historic moment as an opportunity for engagement and reflection on the past 100 years and to imagine forward for the next 100 years,” said Megan Bang, professor of learning sciences at the School of Education and Social Policy and CNAIR director.

In April, the U.S. Department of the Interior placed portions of the Shab-eh-nay Reservation in northern Illinois into trust for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. This move acknowledges the federal government illegally auctioned off the land 175 years prior and makes the Prairie Band Potawatomi the only Tribal Nation to have a reservation in Illinois.

“The state of Illinois and its people will need to enter a new era in building relationships and knowledge about Native people and Prairie Band specifically. There are new layers of infrastructure that must be built in accordance with nation-nation relationships,” Bang said.

The symposium will feature Indigenous community-partnered project highlights, poster sessions, roundtables and panels. Key topics include education, health, land, environment and cultural heritage. This year’s symposium has expanded to include external partners, such as Tribal College students, in addition to the presentation and discussion of scholarly work of the Northwestern community.

Keynote speakers are Duncan McCue, Anishinaabe, professor of Indigenous journalism and (story) telling at Carleton University’s School of Journalism. McCue authored “Decolonizing Journalism” and is the 2023 Indigenous Journalists Association Medill Milestone Achievement Award winner. Other keynote speakers are Zach Pahmahmie and Raphael Wahwassuc of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, who both will discuss the journey to reclaiming their stolen ancestral lands.

About the Center:

The Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) was established in 2017 through the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. CNAIR is Northwestern University’s primary institutional space dedicated to advancing scholarship, teaching, learning, and artistic or cultural practices related to Native American and Indigenous communities, priorities, histories, and lifeways.


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