Northeastern State University
The 45th Annual Symposium on the American Indian theme is “Indian Givers: Indigenous Inspirations.” The Symposium will focus on the many ways in which American Indians have contributed to mainstream, western culture through art, literature, government, and other areas of the humanities.
The term “Indian Giver” has a rather negative connotation in American culture, reflecting one of the greatest cultural misunderstandings of Western history. Lewis and Clark have been credited with coining the term, as they did not understand the gift exchange and bartering practices of the local tribes and perceived them to be unfair or even insulting. While there were obvious differences in culture, beliefs, and customs of Indigenous people and what would eventually become the dominant western culture, the two have managed to coexist. In fact, there are many areas in which American Indian culture has influenced and inspired the development of modern culture. Presentations will explore these contributions in both a historical and contemporary context.
All Symposium events are free and open to the public.