Indigenous identities are complex and multi-faceted and often misunderstood by non-Native people. Yet, understanding them is foundational to TCU’s inclusion efforts and essential to fulfilling the university’s mission “to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” A panel of Indigenous leaders will lead us in better understanding these identities and what they mean for TCU by considering the following questions: What are the basic elements or factors that compose and shape Indigenous identities? What are some of the most common misconceptions regarding Indigenous identities? Why is understanding Indigenous identities important at TCU? How can TCU better support Indigenous students, faculty, staff, alum, and local Indigenous community members by understanding their identities?
Joshua Arce is President & CEO of Partnership With Native Americans, a nonprofit organization committed to championing hope for a brighter future for Native Americans living on remote, isolated, and impoverished reservations. A citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, he has more than 20 years of experience in education management, social work, and business development. He previously served as Chief Information Officer of Haskell Indian Nations University and earned a B.A. in social work and a J.D. specializing in tribal law, applied indigenous leadership, federal Indian law, and Indian gaming law from the University of Kansas.
Dr. Les D. Riding In (enrolled Pawnee/Osage) is currently the Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Studies for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Arlington. Currently, he serves as the chair for the University’s Land Acknowledgement Task Force, is the lead advisor for UT Arlington’s Native American Student Association, and is Chair on the Board of Trustees for Pawnee Nation College, located in Pawnee, Oklahoma. Dr. Riding In also serves as co-chair of The University of Texas System Indigenous Issues Working Group. He earned his Ph. D. in Higher Education with a minor in public administration from the University of North Texas and a Master of Human Relations and BBA finance from the University of Oklahoma.
Chloe Hicks (Pueblo of Isleta) is Vice-President of TCU’s Native and Indigenous Student Association and a Movement Science major in the Kinesiology department on the pre-PA track.