Speakers explore today’s Native American experience

WHERE:     Via Zoom https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/91605881020

WHEN:      Wednesday, January 27, 6pm

The Columbia College Foundation will host a discussion of Native life in a special presentation Wednesday evening January 27. A regional panel of spiritual, cultural and literary leaders will offer a range of perspectives on current issues, such as urban versus rural Native life, governance structures and efforts to revitalize language and cultural traditions.

Speakers include nationally acclaimed Calaveras County author Tommy Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho), Carlos Geisdorff (Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk), Cultural Coordinator of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk, and Mother Lode tribal elder Bill Leonard (Southern Sierra Miwuk).

Each guest speaker will have a presentation on an area of focus:

  • Tommy Orange, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, will read from his award-winning novel There There, and discuss its themes of identity and urban Native experiences
  • Carlos Geisdorff will speak about Native cultural and language revitalization, especially in California
  • Bill Leonard will describe extensive efforts petitioning for federal recognition for Southern Sierra Miwuk tribe

Columbia College Counselor Stephanie Beaver-Guzman (Hupa) will moderate.

“It is exciting to host these diverse and well-respected Native community members,” Beaver-Guzman said. As the event organizer, she shared: “Their teachings and perspectives are so essential.  Our formal educational systems do not always create space or show value for Indigenous Knowledge, and our community can learn so much from each participant.”

The event, originally scheduled for last spring, was reorganized as a Zoom event by Beaver-Guzman and the participants.

The January 27 evening program continues a community lecture series hosted by the Columbia College Foundation in cooperation with college faculty and regional partners.  This event is co-hosted by the Columbia College Cultural Enrichment Committee.

Jeff Warren, Columbia College Foundation President, commended Beaver for her continued efforts.

“The Foundation is pleased to help bring these speakers together for an enlightening and educational evening and help provide a forum for these important voices,” he said.

The Columbia College Foundation is a community nonprofit established in 1972 to promote quality higher education that enriches the academic, economic, and cultural life of our community. Our mission is to promote student success by providing community resources that support and expand educational opportunities for Columbia College’s students. Learn more at www.gocolumbia.edu/foundation or call (209) 588-5065.