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Third annual observance of Indigenous Peoples Day at SOU

SOU celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day

Southern Oregon University’s third annual Indigenous Peoples Day observance will take place between Sunday, Oct. 13 and Monday, Oct. 14.

The events start off with a film festival at South Medford High between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday. The festival is free and open to the public, and – like the other events the following day – is designed to celebrate the survival of Native American/Indigenous cultures and to encourage decolonization activism.

The film festival is just the start, however, as Monday is packed with free events, starting with a salmon bake. The salmon bake, situated in the Stevenson Union courtyard between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., will feature food, activities, performances and guest speakers.

The festivities continue with the Intergenerational Activism Panel between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the Stevenson Union Rogue River Room. Afterward, a Decolonization Celebration will be held in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Courtyard Stage between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Throughout the day the OSF campus will host a Native plays exhibit in the Black Swan Theatre. This celebration of OSF’s Native American and Indigenous plays will conclude in the Thomas Theatre at 8 p.m. with a showing of “Between Two Knees” by the 1491s. Tickets, which can be purchased online, will have a special price for Native/Indigenous students.

The SOU community overwhelmingly decided to formally recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day in June of 2017, making SOU one of several universities, seven states and over 100 U.S. cities to observe the holiday. It is typically celebrated on the second Monday of October, which the U.S. has observed as the federal Columbus Day holiday since 1937. Oregon and at least 16 other states do not recognize Columbus Day as a holiday.

No classes at SOU are canceled for Indigenous Peoples Day, but the occasion is observed through special programming and events.

SOU’s celebration of Indigenous Peoples doesn’t end on the 14th, as the Schneider Museum of Art will be housing a solo exhibition of Victor Maldonado between Oct. 24 and Dec. 14.

SOU’s Indigenous Peoples Day is sponsored by numerous SOU departments and student organizations as well as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Red Earth Descendants and the city of Ashland.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

SOU celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day

SOU observes Indigenous Peoples Day

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s second annual observation of Indigenous Peoples Day – and contributions and cultural significance of Native American populations – will take place on Monday, Oct. 8, beginning with a salmon bake celebration on the Stevenson Union courtyard.

The free salmon bake will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will feature drumming and a variety of speakers. SOU President Linda Schott will welcome the salmon bake participants and discuss the university’s commitment to equity and inclusion, and its respect for the cultural richness its Native American students bring to campus.

The president authorized the observance of Indigenous Peoples Day after student Lupe Sims and the Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee got unanimous support for the proposal from three governing boards on campus in early 2017. No classes are canceled for the now-annual observation, but the occasion is observed through special programming and events.

Monday’s salmon bake will include presentations from guest speakers Ed Little Crow, Felicia McNair, David West, Brent Florendo, Chauncey Peltier, Mark Colson, Rowena Jackson and Shaun Taylor-Corbett.

A free lecture and discussion, “Earth Protectors: Indigenous Solidarity with the Earth, North and South,” will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Stevenson Union’s Rogue River Room. It will focus on indigenous peoples’ struggles against extractive industries throughout the Americas.

SOU is one of several universities, four states and about 40 U.S. cities – including Ashland, Portland, Eugene and Corvallis in Oregon – that observe Indigenous Peoples Day.

It is typically celebrated on the second Monday of October, which the U.S. has observed as the federal Columbus Day holiday since 1937.

At least 17 states, including Oregon, do not recognize Columbus Day as a holiday. Oregon observed it as a “day of commemoration” – but not a legal holiday – until the 1985 Legislature added a holiday for Martin Luther King Day, combined Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays as Presidents’ Day and eliminated all “days of commemoration.”

SOU offers a Native American Studies Program that seeks to educate all students about the knowledge, experiences and rich cultural heritage of indigenous people. The university also has an active Native American student population, supports SOU’s Native American Student Union and sponsors Konaway Nika Tillicum – an eight-day, on-campus residential camp for Native American youth.

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SOU to observe Indigenous Peoples Day


NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/d0nv6L)
(Ashland, Ore.) — The contributions and cultural significance of Native American populations will be celebrated annually at Southern Oregon University when the campus begins observing Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October, beginning this year.
SOU President Linda Schott declared the university’s intention to observe Indigenous Peoples Day after student Lupe Sims and the Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee took the proposal to three governing boards on campus. The University Planning Board, Faculty Senate and Associated Students of Southern Oregon University each approved the request, which will result in a celebration similar to that of Veterans Day at SOU. No classes will be canceled, but the occasion will be observed through special programming.
“The indigenous cultures that have evolved in the Americas for millennia are certainly worthy of acknowledgement and have particular relevance to our state, in which nine sovereign tribes are recognized,” President Schott said. “SOU has a vibrant population of Native American students, and this celebration will honor the legacies of their families and ancestors.
“This will provide an excellent opportunity for all of our students to learn more about the non-European history of our region and our country.”
SOU joins several other universities, four states and at least 39 U.S. cities – including Portland, Eugene and Corvallis in Oregon – that observe Indigenous Peoples Day.
It is typically celebrated on the second Monday of October, which the U.S. has observed as the federal Columbus Day holiday since 1937.
At least 17 states – including Oregon – do not recognize Columbus Day as a holiday. Oregon observed it as a “day of commemoration” – but not a legal holiday – until the 1985 Legislature added a holiday for Martin Luther King Day, combined Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays as Presidents’ Day and eliminated all “days of commemoration.”
SOU’s Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee sought President Schott’s endorsement of the new Indigenous Peoples Day after gathering approvals from the three on-campus governing panels. A letter from the committee asked for a declaration of “our commitment to the inclusion of indigenous people’s perspectives and objectives as a central aspect of the university’s mission.”
The president said the day of celebration is consistent with SOU’s values of commitment to its students; intellectual growth; responsibility to the natural and social world; and inclusion, diversity and equity.
SOU offers a Native American Studies Program that seeks to educate all students about the knowledge, experiences and rich cultural heritage of indigenous people. The university also has an active Native American student population, supports SOU’s Native American Student Union and sponsors Konaway Nika Tillicum – an eight-day, on-campus residential camp for Native American youth.
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About Southern Oregon University
As a public liberal arts university, SOU focuses on student learning, accessibility and civic engagement that enriches both the community and bioregion. The university is recognized for fostering intellectual creativity, for quality and innovation in its connected learning programs, and for the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.