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Annual Native American symposium returns to Utah this month

Posted at 5:12 PM, Nov 01, 2023

OGDEN, Utah — The 17th Annual Native Symposium returns to Weber State University this November with a series of free events for the public to learn, honor and celebrate Native American culture and heritage. This year’s symposium is honoring Native Sovereignty.

In a statement to the University’s website, Amanda Jones, program manager for the Native American Cultural Center, said the Native American Student Association is excited to bring discussions about land acknowledgments to Weber State.

“We see this as a great step toward positive action and to start conversations that ask, ‘What do land acknowledgments mean for you and for our institution? What are some concrete actions that can be taken?’” Jones said. “I see this as a time to assist and uplift our people and uphold Native sovereignty.”

To commence the Symposium, a sunrise ceremony was held on campus on Nov. 1

“... it helps us remind us of our ancestors that had struggled through so many things in their lives, just for us to be here today,” said Northwestern Shoshone spiritual leader Rios Pacheco. “So we not only honor the day, but we honor what our Creator has given us, the will to continue in our lives”

The symposium will also feature an exhibit about indigenous land acknowledgments at the University’s Stewart Library throughout November. The exhibit was created in partnership with the Native American Cultural Center and the Native American Student Association and Stewart Library. The University also notes that lawn signs acknowledging the Fremont, Goshute, Paiute, Ute and Shoshone peoples’ stewardship of the land Weber State sits on have also been posted on campus.

The following are the events of the symposium:

  • Nov. 9
  • Author Darren Parry will deliver the keynote speech at 6:30 p.m. in the Stewart Library. Parry is the former chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation and wrote The Bear River Massacre: A Shoshone History. He has given lectures across the country on Native American issues surrounding history and sustainability.
  • Nov. 14
  • Wellness through Culture and Community Connections, a collaboration with the Urban Indian Center, 4–5 p.m. in the Shepherd Union, Room 320.
  • Nov. 15
  • Film screening, Roadtrip Nation: Native Way Forward, 4:30 p.m. in the Wildcat Theater, located in the Shepherd Union.

More information can be found HERE.