The Highland Diversity Committee will host “Why Every Day is Indigenous People’s Day: Exploring Native American Presence in Illinois” via Zoom™ at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14.
Jenny L. Davis, Ph.D. will present the program, highlighting being a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. Davis is an associate professor of Anthropology and instructor of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois, where she is also the director of the American Indian Studies program.
“We are very excited to have Dr. Davis share her expertise with our students and with our community,” said Dr. Julie Hartman-Linck, Sociology instructor. “Too often we are ignorant of the rich Indigenous history of Illinois, but even more often we seem to forget that Indigenous people are not isolated to our history books — they are a part of our community here in Northwest Illinois today, too.”
She adds, “I’m excited for my students to hear this presentation because Dr. Davis will speak not just to the history in our state but also discuss present-day issues so we can all become more aware of the experiences of our Indigenous students, faculty, and staff on campus and throughout our region.”
Davis will talk about how Indigenous people have had, and continue to have, a presence in the state of Illinois, from Cahokia to Chicago. The talk will discuss these histories and realities and how they shape the lives of Native American, Indigenous people, and everyone who calls Illinois home.
She is the author of “Talking Indian: Identity and Language Renaissance,” and “Trickstar Academy.” Her creative work has been published in “Transmotion,” “Anomaly,” “Santa Ana River Review,” “Broadsided,” “North Dakota Quarterly,” “Yellow Medicine Review,” “As/Us,” “Raven Chronicles,” and “Resist Much/Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance.”
The virtual free event is open to the public, and information is on the website at https://highland.edu/event-calendar/.