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Columbia College Hosting ‘Native Voices’ Presentation
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The Columbia College Foundation will host a discussion of Native life in a special campus presentation scheduled for Monday evening, March 30. 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 elders Bill Leonard (Southern Sierra Miwuk) and Dirk Charley (Dunlap Band Mono).

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 Giesdorf will speak about Native cultural and language revitalization. Bill Leonard and Dirk Charley will describe their extensive efforts petitioning for federal recognition for their tribes.

Columbia College Counselor Stephanie Beaver (Hupa) will moderate.

“It is exciting to host these diverse and well-respected Native community members,” said Beaver, the event organizer. “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 will be held at the Dogwood Forum at Columbia College and is free to the public. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the evening’s program will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The March 30 program continues a community lecture series hosted by the Columbia College Foundation in cooperation with college faculty and regional partners.

Colette Such, 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,” she said.

For further information contact Amy Nilson, Columbia College Director of Development at (209) 588-5065.

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 the community.