Program focuses on Native Americans culture in Wabash Valley

By: Jennifer Sicking, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
April 16, 2013

On Saturday, April 20, Indiana State University will present a free public program focused on the competition between Native Americans, Europeans and Americans for the old Northwest Territory.

"The Other Side of the Northwest Frontier: Native Peoples Past and Present" will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Indiana State's Cunningham Memorial Library's Events Area.

"The goal of ‘The Other Side of the Northwest Frontier' program is to promote awareness and understanding of Native American culture in the Wabash Valley both past and present and to help people understand the opposing and blending forces of different cultures particularly in the late 18th and early 19th centuries," said Cinda May, chair of Special Collections at Cunningham Memorial Library. "Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the panelists and performers, as well as become acquainted with available resources for the study of Native Peoples in the region."

A drum prayer by Paul-Rene Tamburro, a member of the Nulhegan Band of Abenaki of Vermont, will begin the day at 9 a.m.

A talk by Roger Laybourn, chief and Ministre de la Culture et de la Communication of the United Metis Tribe starts the sessions. Laybourn's talk at 9:15 a.m. is titled "Allies Out of Necessity: Native American and British Cooperation during the War of 1812." David Nichols, Indiana State associate professor of history, will speak on "The Prophet and the Commodore: The Northwest Indians' War of 1812" at 9:45 a.m. Then at 10:15, Tamburro, who also is the chair of Indiana State's social work department, will speak on "The Other World of Economics: Trade and Commerce in the Wabash Valley from the Indigenous Point of View."

During the morning, Kim DisPennett and Terry Noble will perform on flutes and Tamburro will lead a social dance. The day will finish with the United Metis Tribe singing traditional songs.

Exhibit tables with information about the Waapaahsiki Siipiiwi Mounds Historical Park, eastern woodland raised beading and Indian economy and currency will be on display.

This event is sponsored by the university's library and history department as well as the Native American Museum and the Sullivan County American Indian Council. It is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Indiana Humanities and is a part of the Year of the River 2013 celebration.

Contact: Cinda May, Indiana State University, special collections chair, at 812-237-2534 or cinda.may@indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, associate director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or jennifer.sicking@indstate.edu