Contact: Larry Emerson 505 368 3904
UNM KIVA CLUB ALUMNI AND PRESENT DAY KIVA CLUB MEMBERS SCHEDULED TO MEET IN TALKING CIRCLE GATHERING
Albuquerque. A November 20 “talking circle gathering” has been organized by 1970s former and present University of New Mexico Kiva Club members in an effort to share personal and collective stories and journeys regarding situations Native people face today.
The gathering is a joint effort of the UNM Kiva Club alumni and the present day Kiva Club and their president Stephanie Salazaar and is meant to create an opportunity for intergenerational dialogue and conversation.
“The present day Kiva Club might not necessarily understand the deep rooted activism of the 1970s. There is likely a gap of knowledge and experience between our generations. Younger students need to expand their understanding of the past and how present day Indian country is impacted”, according to Kiva Club alumni John Redhouse.
Issues of the 1970s and 1980s involved anti-racism and exploitation of Native people, Indigenous rights relating to land, culture, language, environment, and identity, the need for tribal sovereignty and self-determination, the need to recover Native traditional knowledge, and adherence to historic treaty, hunting and fishing rights. Protests included the Larry Casuse and Robert Nakaidinae incident, the American Indian Movement, the 1970 Alcatraz takeover, the 1972 BIA takeover, the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover, the Longest Walks of 1978 and 1980, the protests at Big Mountain on the Diné Nation, and various anti-racism, anti-exploitation and anti-commodification protests in Farmington, Albuquerque, Gallup and Flagstaff, Az.
“During those times we understood the Kiva Club community to extend beyond the university campus. We were connected to area tribal nations or the original inhabitants of the land, by the need for justice, by the need for understanding and harmony among all of us” said Joy Harjo, Mvskoke,(Creek) Nation, former Kiva Club member.
The gathering is set for November 20, 2010 at the University of New Mexico Student Union Ballroom C in Albuquerque.
The first UNM-Albuquerque Kiva Club Reunion has been a long time coming and many people, especially Larry Emerson and Eulynda Toledo-Benalli, have worked diligently on this event.
The reunion is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. at UNM Student Union Ballroom C.
According to the planning group, the reunion facilitators will be award-winning journalist Marley Shebala and videographer, KUNM 89.1 FM Singing Wire broadcaster, and NAMPro co-founder Francis "FM" Montoya.
Opening remarks will be made by longtime Indian rights activist John Redhouse and Marley Shebala. Redhouse's involvement with Indian rights and civil rights organization that included Indians Against Exploitation in Gallup, N.M., the Coalition for Navajo Liberation in Farmington, N.M., the National Indian Youth Council in Albuquerque, and the New Mexico U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Shebala's 28 years of journalism experience earned her the name of muck-raker by High Country News for her coverage of the Navajo Nation government. But she takes pride in receiving Community Journalist of the Year from the Arizona Newspaper Association in 2005 and 2008 and the Richard LaCourse Investigative Reporting Award from the Native American Journalists Association in 2002 and 2009.
Internationally acclaimed author, poet, musician and screenwriter Joy Harjo, Muskogee-Creek, will headline and lead other Kiva Club poets in a poetry reading. Harjo's poetry has received a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award, the New Mexico Govenor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has also released three award-winning CD's: Letter from the End of the Twentieth Century, Native Joy for Real, and She Had Some Horses.
Larry Emerson, who describes himself as a farmer, artist, educator and activist from Tse'Daa'Kaan, will be doing a reading on his writings and also provide handouts. Larry received his doctorate in educational philosophy from San Diego State University and Clairmont Graduate University where he conducted research and taught on indigenous decolonization theories and practices.
Toledo-Benalli, who holds a doctorate in education, is conducting research and documentation for the Boarding School Healing Project. "The Boarding School Healing Project has designed October 6 as a day of remembrance. Oct. 6, 1879 was the day Gen. Richard Pratt took children from all Nations and opened the boarding schools in Carlisle, Penn. Many children died." Toledo-Benalli is also the founder of First Nations North & South and an award-winning broadcast journalist.