Panelists will discuss mixed messages of 'I'm Just Honoring Your Culture'

Monday, October 24, 2016

LAWRENCE — With Pocahontas and Indian warriors perennially popular as Halloween costumes and the Cleveland Indians playing in the World Series, appropriation of Native cultures is a timely topic. An upcoming panel at the University of Kansas will address some of those issues.

“I’m Just Honoring Your Culture!” The Complicated – and Continued – History of Appropriation of Native Culture” will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at The Commons in Spooner Hall. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Charlene Teters, artist, academic dean of the Institute of American Indian Arts and founding board member of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media, will share her experiences combating cultural appropriation and stereotyping of Native peoples. Norman Akers, KU associate professor of visual art; Robert Warrior, Hall Distinguished Professor of American Literature & Culture at KU, and Joshua Falleaf, faculty member of English at Haskell Indian Nations University, will join Teters on the panel. The audience is encouraged to engage in a thoughtful discussion of the issues.


“This event comes at a particularly opportune moment as Cleveland advances to the World Series, as many people are considering choices for Halloween costumes, and an alternative logo for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team has been put forward," said Stephanie Fitzgerald, director of the Indigenous Studies Program. "It is our hope that that the panel will contribute to a meaningful conversation on appropriation of Native American culture in a respectful way."

The event is sponsored by the Indigenous Studies program, Office of the Provost, Diversity and Equity; the Hall Center for the Humanities; the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the departments of American Studies, English, History, Humanities, Religious Studies and Visual Art.