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Symposium to discuss rematriating leadership and land

South Dakota State University will host the “Indigenizing Spaces: Rematriating Leadership and Land” symposium, which is open to all members of the Brookings and SDSU communities Sept. 19.

Karrin Vasby Anderson
Karrin Vasby Anderson

“Indigenizing Spaces is about making Indigenous perspectives and contemporary realities visible at SDSU and the local community,” said Sharity Bassett, an assistant professor of American Indian Studies. “It is about acknowledging SDSU and Brookings as inhabiting Oceti Sakowin ancestral territory and centering Indigenous relationships to land. The impetus for the Indigenizing Spaces fall symposium and spring research summit was to create relevant and contemporary content that helps American Indian students, faculty and staff feel seen, connected and included, and to help the collective SDSU and Brookings community become better equipped to be in relationship with Indigenous peoples.”

The event consists of four 75-minute sessions, each on a different topic. The sessions begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be held in the University Student Union’s Volstorff Ballroom. Some of the speakers are members of the SDSU community, but there will also be speakers from different tribal nations and universities.

“This is a collaboration among a lot of different units on campus, including American Indian Studies, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, American Indian Student Center, School of Communication and Journalism, School of American and Global Studies, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Wokini Initiative,” said Becky Kuehl, the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program coordinator. “As such, we believe that this symposium has something to offer everyone—students, faculty, staff and the larger Brookings community.”

Janet Flores
Janet Flores


  • 9:30-10:45 a.m. — Panel discussion on female leadership in media featuring Karrin Vasby Anderson, Colorado State University; Faith Spotted Eagle, Ihanktonwan Nation; Lisa Hager and Evren Celik Wiltse, SDSU;
  • 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Panel discussion about rematriation at SDSU;
  • 2-3:15 p.m. — Discussion of rematriating leadership and land featuring Louise McDonald Herne, Wakerakatste, and Janet Flores;
  • 3:30-4:45 p.m. — Panel discussion to summarize the day.