40th Anniversary Celebration Wraps Up With NAS Symposium

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Dartmouth will host a group of distinguished academic and tribal scholars and elders for two panel discussions next week as part of a symposium on the “Collaborative Research in the Study of Native American Cultures.” The symposium serves as the final event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the College’s Native American Studies Program.

NAS Symposium

The symposium is part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Dartmouth’s Native American Studies Program. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

“To showcase some of the best collaborative research in ethnography, archaeology, and the study of oral traditions and hear from several of its outstanding practitioners, our two-day symposium brings together Native and non-Native scholars and their collaborators,” says Sergei Kan, professor of anthropology and of Native American studies, and the symposium’s main organizer.

The speakers include MacArthur Foundation Award winner Sven Haakanson, an archaeologist of Alutiiq descent who is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Washington and curator of ethnology at the Burke Museum in Seattle; Eric Lassiter, director of the Graduate Humanities Program at Marshall University; Theresa Carter and Daniela Nieto, Kiowa singers, bead makers, and cultural activists; and award-winning Alaskan writers Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer, who are leading scholars of the Tlingit language and folklore.

Sergei Kan

The symposium will offer students a chance to “learn about some of the most interesting and important research being done today in the study of Native American cultures,” says Sergei Kan, professor of anthropology and of Native American Studies. (Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

Both sessions are free and open to the public. The first panel, in which participants will describe their present and past work, begins at 3:30 p.m. on October 2 in Moore Hall’s Filene Auditorium. The October 3 panel, which will focus on the future of collaborative research in Native American Studies, begins at 4 p.m. in Rockefeller Center Room 003.

“The symposium organizers hope that it will offer our students a unique opportunity to learn about some of the most interesting and important research being done today in the study of Native American cultures, as well as about the directions this research might be taking in the future,” says Kan.

In 1972, under the direction of President John Kemeny, Dartmouth established one of the nation’s first Native American studies programs. At the time, there were about 20 Native students at Dartmouth. In 2012, there were 155 undergraduate Native Americans at Dartmouth.