9th Annual Indigenous and American Studies Storytellers Conference
April 12 & 13, 2013
‘Decolonization through Tradition’
The year 2013 commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Guswentha “Two Row” Wampum Belt. This treaty, the first between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and European settlers, is depicted in the belt’s symbolic dual paths, or “rows”, representing the separate lifeways of the Haudenosaunee canoe and European ship navigating the river of life. The agreement was founded in mutual respect based on friendship, peace, and acknowledgment of each other’s different traditions so long as the grass grows, the waters run, the sun rises, and Mother Earth lives. However, the future of this final criterion has recently come into question whith increasing assaults on the environment. Acts such as the Canadian second ominibus budget bill, C-45, threaten the continuation of our ecosystem and future generations. As a result of such attacks and continued discontent arising from a long legacy of colonialism, the Idle No More movement has exploded with global support towards an activism that promotes Native sovereignty and nationhood, unity between Indigenous peoples and allies, decolonization, and ecological justice.
This year’s theme evokes both of these causes in its ninth installation of the Storytellers conference which continues to honor its founders, John Mohawk and Barry White. In solidarity with the Guswentha “Two Row” Wampum Belt renewal and the Idle No More movement, our purpose this year is to reinvigorate the vision of peace, power and righteousness between Indigenous and Settler Peoples with consideration to our future paths and generations in our respective boats.
***Thank you to everyone who made this conference such a success -- presenters, moderators, speakers, audience members, vendors, and our many organizers and helpers! We hope to see you all next year!***
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