Virginia Tech hosts discussion on revitalizing Virginia Indian languages

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 18, 2006 – A panel discussion among representatives of Virginia’s state-recognized Indian Nations about revitalizing their native languages will take place on Friday, April 21, at 4 p.m. in Squires Student Center, Room 150-154.

Those participating include Kenneth Adams (Chief of the Upper Mattaponi Nation), Powhatan RedCloud-Owen (Chickahominy Nation), Gerri Reynolds (Rappahannock Nation), and Karenne Wood (Monacan Nation and Chair of the Virginia Council on Indians).

Dr. Blair Rudes, assistant professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, will moderate the discussion. Rudes is an expert on Coastal Algonquian Languages.

This forum kicks off the sixth annual Virginia Indian Nations Summit on Higher Education (VINSHE), a gathering of college faculty and students and representatives of the state's eight recognized Indian nations to discuss the relationship between indigenous communities and the academy.

“VINSHE initially emerged as an effort to gain tribal input in developing Virginia Tech's American Indian Studies program, and has since emerged as a venue for truly collaborative agendas between university representatives and Virginia Indian communities,” said Sam Cook, associate professor in interdisciplinary studies. “Significantly, each summit includes a public forum in which tribal representatives can voice their own realities, rather than having them interpreted by third parties. These forums often develop into a meaningful dialogue between the audience and tribal representatives and constitute a truly empowering experience for indigenous knowledge keepers.”

The panel discussion is free and open to the public with a reception following in the Black Cultural Center. For more information, contact Samuel R. Cook at 540-231-9596.

This event is sponsored by Virginia Tech's American Indian Studies Program (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies), the Office of the Provost, the University of Virginia's Office of the Provost, and the Virginia Council on Indians.

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