Many eyes make for a stronger vision, and many voices tell a stronger story.

Join us for a virtual Day of Dialogue comprised of roundtable conversations between students, educators, and alumni from Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions that began as Native American boarding schools. Speakers will discuss a range of topics and interactive audience participation is encouraged. The goal is to serve the best interests of our students. All sessions are free and open to the public.

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Day of Dialogue Schedule

Opening Ceremony - Prayers and Land Acknowledgments

  • Prayer and Welcome
  • Opening Remarks
    • Tom Stritikus, Fort Lewis College President
    • Chip Beal, University of Minnesota Morris Native American Student Success Director and Interim Assistant to the Chancellor for Native American Partnerships, Student Success
    • Ernest House, Chair Fort Lewis College Board of Trustees
    • Jesse Peters, Fort Lewis College Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences
  • Alumni Reflections
    • Nina O'Leary, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
    • Jenni Trujillo, Fort Lewis College Dean of School of Education
    • Michelle Brownlee, The Field Museum, Chicago

Session One: Land Acknowledgments & Environmental Sustainability

  • Brian J Twenter (Chair), Fort Lewis College Assistant Professor and Mellon Scholar, Department of Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • LeManuel Bitsóí, Fort Lewis College Associate Vice President for Diversity Affairs and Special Advisor to the President for Indigenous Affairs
  • Gabe Desrosiers, University of Minnesota Morris American Indian Languages and Culture, Humanities and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Melissa Clutter, Fort Lewis College Assistant Professor of Geosciences
  • Clement Loo, University of Minnesota Morris Student Success Coordinator for Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Programs and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Session Two: Boarding School Histories & Tuition Waiver

  • Davina Two Bears (Chair), Fort Lewis College Professor and Mellon Scholar, Department of Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Becca Gercken, University of Minnesota Morris Chief Diversity Officer, Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Majel Boxer, Fort Lewis College Chair and Associate Professor of Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Kevin Whalen, University of Minnesota Morris Associate Professor of History and Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Farina King, Northeastern State University Assistant Professor of History and Director of the NSU Center for Indigenous Community Engagement

Session Three: Student Voices from Tuition Waiver Schools

  • Simon Chief (Advisor and Co-Chair), Fort Lewis College Native American Center Assistant Director
  • Adrianna (Anna) Jackson (Advisor and Co-Chair), University of Minnesota Morris Native American Student Success Transfer Pathway Navigator
  • Fort Lewis College Student Representatives:
    • Aly Gee, Hozhoni Ambassador
    • Joe Granado
    • Kirsten Langmade
    • Nate Sabree
    • Desmon Tippeconnie
    • Rhiannon Yazzie
  • University of Minnesota Morris Student Representatives:
    • Claudia Iron Hawk
    • Katelynn Jepma
    • Julia Scovil, Student Body President
    • Dylan Young - Circle of Nations Indigenous Association President and Student Body Vice President

Session Four: Teaching Indigenous Pedagogies

  • Deanne Grant (Chair), Fort Lewis College Assistant Professor of Sociology and Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Becca Gercken, University of Minnesota Morris Chief Diversity Officer, Native American and Indigenous Studies Chair and Associate Professor of English
  • Carma Claw, Fort Lewis College Assistant Professor of Management
  • Kevin Whalen, University of Minnesota Morris Associate Professor of History and Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Joslynn Lee, Fort Lewis College Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Closing Ceremony

  • Closing Remarks
    • Cheryl Nixon, Fort Lewis College Provost
    • Janet Schrunk Ericksen, University of Minnesota Morris Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
    • LaTitia Taylor, Director Southern Ute Education
  • Alumni Reflections
    • Faith Roessel, President Fort Lewis College Foundation Board
    • Tasha Myhal, University of Colorado
    • Deanne Grant, Fort Lewis College Assistant Professor of Sociology and Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Poetry from Gordon Henry and Heid E. Erdrich
  • Prayers and Appreciation

Background on the event

In 2018, FLC received a Mellon Foundation grant to bring scholars of Native American and Indigenous Studies to campus, foster additional undergraduate research in the humanities, and facilitate the expanded use of inclusive pedagogies. As an institution grounded in liberal arts education, Fort Lewis College believes the work supported by the grant aligns with our core values, and the program is having a positive impact on the education of our students. The grant facilitates a collaborative educational environment across our campus as we work towards reinforcing our efforts to infuse diversity and inclusion in our curriculum and institutional life. More importantly, it places us in a better position to serve the diverse student body at FLC.

In 2019, Fort Lewis College President Tom Stritikus also established a Committee on FLC History to examine our origins as a Native American Boarding School. A key question was how understanding and recognition of that past should inform our present and future.

Joining us in conversation will be faculty, staff, and students from the University of Minnesota Morris, an institution that shares our unique history. University of Minnesota Morris, also a COPLAC institution and NASNTI institution, began as a Native American boarding school as did Fort Lewis College. Our hope for these conversations is to build a more diverse and inclusive program of study for our students. Many eyes make for a stronger vision, and many voices tell a stronger story.