BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Colonizing settlers will be under the
microscope March 23-24, when the University at Buffalo Graduate
Students Association in American Studies presents "Challenging
Settler Colonialism," the 8th Annual Indigenous and American
It will feature talks by noted author Jennifer Nez Denetdale,
PhD, (Dine/Navajo) of the University of New Mexico, and Susan M.
Hill, PhD, (Mohawk) of Wilfred Laurier University, Ontario, Canada.
For conference program details contact Steve Demchak at email@example.com.
The conference will be held in honor of two late UB American
studies faculty members and indigenous intellectuals, John Mohawk,
PhD, and Barry White, both members of the Seneca Nation of Indians,
who taught the legacy of colonization and its impact on those
living in settler colonial societies.
On any continent or in any region in which they appear,
colonizing settlers are not just migrants. Dutch, Roman, Israeli,
Spanish, English, Chinese -- whatever their origins, they are
invaders who come to stay and carry with them a sense of supreme or
ultimate power. After overcoming indigenous populations, they
establish political orders and, in general, make use of native
labor before trying to make try those natives vanish.
"Settler colonialism" is a subset of the scholarly field of
colonial studies, but the phenomenon is studied, as well, in the
fields of law, history, genocide studies, indigenous and
postcolonial studies, historical geography, philosophy, gender
studies and in virtually all the social sciences.
Mohawk and White taught that because colonization continues to
affect the lives of native peoples in many ways throughout their
colonial and post-colonial history, it must be critically examined.
Mohawk passionately advocated for revitalizing indigenous cultures
as a way to liberate those cultures from colonial mindsets. White
used traditional teachings and knowledge to highlight the
differences between indigenous and Western thinking.
The conference will open on March 23 at 6 p.m. with a
Haudenosaunee Social in the social hall of Campbell Student Union,
Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo. It will be
followed on March 24 at 9 a.m. with a series of panel discussions
in Clemens Hall on the UB North Campus.
A Haudenosaunee-Native American Studies Research Workshop, to be
held at 1 p.m. March 24 in 1004 Clemens Hall, will examine the
groundbreaking book, "Reclaiming Dine History: The Legacies of
Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita" (University of Arizona Press,
2007), by Jennifer Nez Denetdale, PhD. Discussion of this text will
be led by American studies graduate student Steve Demchak,
president of the UB Native Graduate Association.
Later that day, Denetdale will present the conference keynote
address, "Indigenous Scholarship as Resistance, Dissonance and
Celebration" in 120 Clemens Hall.
Denetdale, was the first Dine/Navajo to earn a PhD in history.
Today an associate professor of American studies at the University
of New Mexico, she specializes in, among other issues, indigenous
nations, colonialism and de-colonialization.
The great-great-great-granddaughter of the well-known Navajo
chief Manuelito (1816-1894) and his nearly unknown wife Juanita
(1845-1910), Denetdale began to explore her family history as a way
of examining broader issues of Navajo historiography.
The conference dinner and commemorative celebration will be held
March 24 at 7 p.m. at the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel, 310
Fourth St., Niagara Falls, N.Y.
The John Mohawk Memorial Address will be delivered at the dinner
by Susan M. Hill, PhD, of the Mohawk Nation, who resides in the
Grand River Territory of the Six Nations. Hill, who holds a masters
degree from UB and a PhD from Trent University, is on the faculty
of the Indigenous and Contemporary Studies Department of Wilfrid
Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario.
Hill's research interests and publication topics include
Haudenosaunee land history and ethics (including the contentious
Caledonia land dispute, 2006 to present), indigenous research
methodologies and ethnic and Native education. She received the
Ontario Governor General's Gold Medal for her doctoral
dissertation, "The Clay We are Made of: Haudenosaunee Land Tenure
on the Grand River" (University of Manitoba Press, 2010) and an
Ontario Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellowship
for academic honors.
Hill's research through the National Aboriginal Health
Organization pertains to the recruitment and retention of
Aboriginal students to the field of medicine, and a history of
First Nations/Inuit/Métis education as it pertains to health
human resource capacity building. Hill is a member of the World
Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium.
The conference is co-sponsored by the UB Native Graduate
Association, UB American Indian Science and Engineering Society, UB
Americanist Group, UB Anthropology Department, UB Global Gender
Studies Department, UB Linguists Group, UB Music Department. UB:
Native American People's Alliance, UB Humanities
Institute/Haudenosaunee-Native American Studies Research Group, UB
Department of American Studies, UB Native American Center for
Wellness Research, Sub Board I, UB Graduate Student Association,
Buffalo State College Native American Student Organization, Native
American SUNY: Western Consortium, and the Seneca Niagara Falls
Casino & Hotel.