Indigenous Humanities Conference Scheduled Nov. 20-23

Indigenous Humanities Conference Scheduled Nov. 20-23



Real Humanities for the Real Human Beings: Teaching Native Humanities from Tribal Perspectives is the subject of the upcoming Meredith Indigenous Humanities Center 2008 Conference Nov. 20-23.

The conference is scheduled in Anadarko, Binger and the surrounding area and is open to Native humanities teachers, Native humanities students and the general public.

“We want to bring Native humanities teachers and Native language speakers together to share experiences from their classes, funding ideas and sources, and new ideas for additional courses,” said Dr. Lee Hester, associate professor of Indian Studies at USAO and executive director of the Meredith Indigenous Humanities Center.

Speakers for the conference include Joseph T. Goombi, Kiowa Clemente course instructor, elder educator and former tribal chairman; Linda Hogan, Chickasaw author, environmentalist, activist and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist; Richard Hunter, Delaware scholar, musician and Kiowa Clemente course alum; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, activist for indigenous rights, author and educator, and Dr. Traci L. Morris, Chickasaw art historian and professor at Arizona State University.

“If you cannot attend the entire conference, we invite you to join us for our community dinners each evening. Suggested donation is $5 to $10 per dinner. We will meet on Nov. 20 at Redstone Baptist Church at 6 p.m. On Nov. 21, we will dine at the Caddo Tribal Complex in Binger at 6 p.m.,” Hester said. Redstone is located one mile north of the intersection of State Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 281 west of Anadarko.

Registration fees for the conference are $35 for Native humanities class teachers and all students and $50 for non-teaching participants. “Registration waivers and stipends are available to those who have limited finances,” Hester said.

More information is available by calling 405-574-1221 or from Information is also available on the web at

Originally named the Pan-American Indian Humanities Center, the Meredith Indigenous Humanities Center was renamed to honor the group’s founder, the late Dr. Howard L. Meredith, Cherokee author and head of the American Indian studies department at USAO.

The group works with indigenous communities to create tribally specific humanities courses tailored to the stated needs and desires of those communities. Their goal is to provide practical and financial assistance to teachers, tribes and institutions of higher learning in sustaining these courses and facilitate communication between different indigenous humanities courses.

The model for these programs is the Clemente course concept. “The Clemente concept is a simple idea: that the study of the humanities enables poor people to become fully participating citizens in a democratic society. When this concept was presented to indigenous peoples in their tribal languages with their own histories, reactions from students and tribal communities were positive,” Hester said.

A demand grew for more printing of Native language grammar books and treaty primers, for changes in the presentation of Native humanities to school-aged students, for the addition of new courses and for the establishment of a center to promote the humanities of indigenous peoples, Hester said.

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