Nov 032009
 
Authors: K.C. Fleming

By K.C. Fleming

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

CSU will host Walter Littlemoon, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and his wife Jane Ridgway, as they speak about the effects of federal policy on Native Americans.

Littlemoon is the author of “They Call Me Uncivilized, The Memoir of an Everyday Lakota Man from Wounded Knee,” which is a biography of his life and details the impact of federally established boarding schools on indigenous youth as well as the history and impact of government policy on the lives of Native Americans.

“In large part, people still on campus, and the public generally, think of native American issues as something that happened in the distant past and that the events they read about are abstract,” Kathy Pickering, the chair of the Department of Anthropology, said.

“The point is to bring Native Americans into the contemporary period and to make their histories living histories,” she added later.

The lecture, which is one of several events celebrating Native American Heritage Month, will focus largely on how Native American reservations are among the most impoverished areas in the country, a result of government misappropriation of land and rights.

“So, Walter’s coming to campus brings to life, personalizes, the experiences of Native Americans,” Pickering said. “As captured in his own lifetime, many of the things we see as historical are reflected in his book and presentation.”

The presentation will also consist of the showing of a trailer for a short documentary about the government’s effort to assimilate U.S. American Indians called “Something’s Moving.” This documentary features the voices of boarding school survivors including Littlemoon.

Derek Murakami, a second-year graduate student in the Student Affairs and Higher Education Program, encourages that people attend the event.

“I think it’s always important to expand our horizons by learning about other cultures, especially learning about the cultures of the people who originated from this country,” he said.

On the other hand, however, some students said they might not have the time.

“The only reason I’m not going is because I don’t have time. But, it sounds like a very interesting presentation,” Garrett Behringer, a freshman political science and philosophy major, said. “I would like to learn more but I have to focus on school.”

Pickering estimated the size of attendance at about 30 people.

Staff writer K.C. Fleming can be reached at news@collegian.com.

What: Walter Littlemoon, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and his wife, Jane Ridgway, will describe the impact federal Indian policies have had on their lives and family history. Littlemoon will present information from his memoir, “They Call Me Uncivilized, The Memoir of an Everyday Lakota Man from Wounded Knee.”

When: today, 6 p.m.

Where: Eddy Building, Rm 10

Admission: free to the public

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