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Director of Harvard’s Native American Program to Give Lecture at UW

Old Main on the University of Wyoming campus in the summer
CC BY-SA 3.0

This week, the University of Wyoming (UW) community and the public can learn about how to utilize community-based approaches to study and appreciate Native American history at the Bruce Richardson Lectures in the Humanities. Named after Bruce Richardson, a senior lecturer emeritus in the Department of English at UW, the annual lecture brings innovative scholars and thinkers in the humanities with public-facing research from around the world to deliver public talks and engage in community outreach across the state.

This year it will feature Dr. Kelli Mosteller, the Executive Director of Harvard University’s Native American Program. Before her appointment at Harvard, Mosteller served for more than a decade as the Director of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) Cultural Heritage Center -- a museum she designed and oversaw from its inception. As a tribal member, she served the community by administering all activities involving the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act for CPN, and she has served as a tribal historic preservation officer.

Dr. Arielle Zibrak, Director of the Lecture series and UW Professor, said the goal is for Wyoming to take something away.

“I think that Wyoming still has a long way to go in terms of how we tell Native American history”, Dr. Zibrak said. “Part of that has to do with the differences between native epistemologies and white western epistemologies; in the sense that a lot of Native American tradition is told through story-keepers, rather than academic textbooks, and other forms of history-making that we often engage in in the United States. Native American history gets shown and told in other ways that are really community-based. I hope that we’ll be able to take some of these lessons to heart here in Wyoming and continue to work on the project of how we tell and embrace the rich native history that is associated with this area.”

Dr. Kelli Mosteller will give her public talk in Laramie and Casper on Wed. and Thurs., February 22nd and 23rd respectively. On Wed., she will speak in Laramie at Coe Library Room 506 from 12pm. On Thurs., she will deliver the keynote of the Casper College Humanities Festivalat the Wheeler auditorium from 12pm. The lecture in Laramie can be watched online.

Bruce Richardson is a senior lecturer emeritus in the Department of English at the University of Wyoming. He taught at UW Casper with distinction and promoted the arts and humanities in his community, and around Wyoming during his university teaching career. The lecture series is facilitated by the Richardson Fund, and donationsare open to the public.

Friday Otuya is a master's student in International Studies at the University of Wyoming.
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