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As TCU observes its 150th anniversary, its 2023 Seventh Annual Native American and Indigenous Peoples Day symposium will consist of introspective and forward-looking events built around the theme, "TCU and Native American and Indigenous Relationships: Exploring the Past, Embracing the Present, Impacting the Future." As always, the symposium will be held on the first Monday in October, which is October 2, 2023.


During the day, we will hold working sessions with leaders from TCU and Native American and Indigenous (NAI) communities and organizations regarding the university’s past and present relationships with NAI peoples. These sessions will focus on critical assessments of these relationships with the goal of producing recommendations for building a more inclusive, healthy, and respectful future. In the evening, a moderated dialogue will be held between senior university leadership and NAI leaders regarding future relationships between TCU and NAI peoples. What needs to be done now to ensure that TCU continues developing mutually beneficial relationships, rooted in respect, with NAI peoples? What will TCU’s relationships with Native American and Indigenous peoples look like in five or ten years and what specific actions need to be taken to achieve this vision? 


Public Sessions

MMIW Panel Discussion (2-2:50 PM; Brown-Lupton University Union [BLUU] Auditorium): “Reflecting on TCU’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Initiatives”

This session will describe and reflect on initiatives at TCU from 2019-2023 related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). Panelists will include community partners from MMIW TX Rematriate, faculty members who incorporated MMIW topics and projects into their courses, and students in those courses or who have been recipients of TCU’s MMIW Scholarship. A joint effort with the local community, TCU’s MMIW initiatives model larger campus efforts to partner with Native and Indigenous peoples to enhance our teaching and learning while simultaneously assisting efforts they have identified as important. As we engage in such initiatives, we must also pause to evaluate whether they have been positive experiences for those involved and if they have met learning goals for the courses and social justice goals for community partners, and determine what we must learn going forward based on our experiences with these efforts.


Keynote Session (7-8:30 PM; Brown-Lupton University Union [BLUU] Ballroom): “A Conversation between TCU’s Senior Leadership and Native American and Indigenous Leaders”

The symposium will culminate in a moderated dialogue between senior university leadership and Native American and Indigenous (NAI) leaders on the future of TCU’s relationships with NAI peoples and communities. The goal of the session is to strengthen relationships between TCU and Native American and Indigenous peoples and communities, create better understanding of each group’s needs and circumstances, guide and inspire the future direction of these relationships, and model TCU’s commitment to the values expressed in its Land Acknowledgement


Keynote Session Panelists: 

Terri Parton, President, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes

Chebon Kernell (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma), Muscogee/Creek ceremonial grounds leader; Executive Director, Native American Comprehensive Plan, United Methodist Church; member of TCU’s Native American Advisory Circle

Annette Anderson (Chickasaw and Cherokee), Advisory Council member of the Indigenous Institute of the Americas, Plano, TX; Licensed Clinical Social Worker; member of TCU’s Native American Advisory Circle

Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, TCU’s Chief Inclusion Officer and Senior Advisor to the Chancellor 

Dr. Wendi Sierra, moderator (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Associate Professor of Game Studies, TCU Honors College

Non-Public, Small Group Working Sessions

Findings and recommendations from these sessions will be distributed. 


Working Session 1: "Creating Spaces for Native American and Indigenous Students"

Working Session 2: "Native American and Indigenous Perceptions and Experiences with TCU"


More information forthcoming.

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