Indigenous People's Day 2020: Reclaiming the Past: Why Setting the Record Straight on Indigenous History and Colonialism is Necessary Today

A panel discussion about the problematic origins of the Doctrine of Discovery, the history of Columbus Day’s place in the U.S. political culture, and the growing global movement to change the narrative on how we got where we are today.  

Introduced by Mario A. Murillo, professor, Vice Dean, The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication

Moderated by Rebecca LoPresti, Senior, majoring in History, Student Fellow, Center for Civic Engagement.

Steve Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape), indigenous law research coordinator at the Sycuan education department of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego County, Author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Discovery
Elias Jade Not Afraid (Apsaalooké, Crow nation), traditional beadwork artist, Whitecone, Arizona.
Joseph Pierce, (Cherokee Nation), professor of Hispanic studies at Stony Brook University, author of Argentine Intimacies. Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890-1910 (SUNY Press, 2019); he is currently working on a project on Resistance.  

Speaker biographies:

Steven Newcomb is a Shawnee-Lenape scholar and author. He has been studying and writing about U.S. federal Indian law and policy since the early 1980s, particularly the application of international law to Original Nations and Peoples. Mr. Newcomb is the Director of the Indigenous Law Institute, which he co-founded with Birgil Kills Straight (1940-2019), who was a Traditional Headman, Elder, and ceremonial leader of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Together they launched a global campaign challenging imperial Vatican documents from the fifteenth century. Those documents resulted in patterns of domination and dehumanization for Original Nations and Peoples of Mother Earth, and thereby deprived the planet of life-ways, sustainable ecosystems, and Sacred Teachings.


Elias Jade Not Afraid (he/him) is 30 years old and a member of the Apsaalooké nation (Crow nation). He was born and raised on the Crow Indian reservation in Montana and taught himself to bead at the age of 12. He uses antique/vintage glass cut beads on smoked deer hide to create works of art from both sustainable and recycled materials. He has received multiple ribbons for his work at art markets. He has his work featured in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, the Field museum and the Minneapolis institute of Art. He has also been in multiple publications including Vogue magazine. His main goal is to teach others about the materials that he uses as well as the history of anything related to Native American beadwork, including antique glass beads, various materials, and techniques. He posts tutorials about how to do beadwork and answers any questions other beaders might have. 

Joseph M. Pierce is Associate Professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on the intersections of kinship, gender, sexuality, and race in Latin America, 19th century literature and culture, queer studies, Indigenous studies, and hemispheric approaches to citizenship and belonging. He is the author of Argentine Intimacies: Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890-1910 (SUNY Press, 2019) and co-editor of Políticas del amor: Derechos sexuales y escrituras disidentes en el Cono Sur (Cuarto Propio, 2018) as well as the forthcoming special issue of GLQ, “Queer/Cuir Américas: Translation, Decoloniality, and the Incommensurable.” His work has been published recently in Taller de LetrasRevista Hispánica ModernaCritical Ethnic Studies, and has also been featured in Indian Country Today. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.


Indigenous People’s Day 2020: Join students, faculty and the community for an all-day exploration of the global indigenous movement and its centuries-long struggle for the defense of territory, culture, and the environment within the context of the many crises facing the planet.

This annual event is co-sponsored by the Center for Civic EngagementCenter for “Race,” Culture and Social JusticeHofstra University Honors CollegeLatin American and Caribbean StudiesOffice of Intercultural, Engagement and Inclusion, and the Hofstra Cultural Center.

Date: Monday, October 12, 2020

Panels include:

11:15-12:40 p.m.: Reclaiming the Past: Why Setting the Record Straight on Indigenous History and Colonialism is Necessary Today

12:50-2:30 p.m.: Confronting the Present: In Defense of Indigenous Territory Against Predatory Extraction

2:55-4:20 p.m.: Shaping the Future: On Why Decolonizing Cultural, Political and Social Spaces is a Must for a Sustainable World

Related Event:

Wednesday, October 14 @ 6:30 p.m.   “Never Forget” Talk Back: Dawnland

Advance registration is required; registrants will be sent a link prior to the event.

RSVP for Reclaiming the Past: Why Setting the Record Straight on Indigenous History and Colonialism is Necessary Today

Monday, October 12, 2020



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Hofstra University
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Hofstra Cultural Center

Phone: 516-463-5669

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