Amanda Blackhorse, keynote speaker at the Fourth Annual Native Leaders Symposium

Amanda Blackhorse, keynote speaker at the Fourth Annual Native Leaders Symposium

“Historical Trauma and Healing: the Fourth Annual Native Leaders Symposium” will be held April 1 at the Carolina Inn, and the public is invited to attend.

Amanda Blackhorse is the keynote speaker for the UNC-Chapel Hill event, and her talk is titled “The Colonization of Our Identities: Ending the Harmful Legacy of Native American Mascotry.” Blackhorse, who is Diné and a member of the Navajo Nation, was the lead plaintiff in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc., which sought to cancel the federal registrations of the Washington, D.C., NFL team. She also helped found the group “Arizona to Rally Against Native American Mascots.”

“Race-based stereotypes and misrepresentations have contributed to the historical trauma impacting Native communities, and removing or replacing them is part of the healing process,” said Meredith McCoy, a UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral student in American studies. McCoy and Aubrey Lauersdorf, a doctoral student in history, are co-presidents of First Nations Graduate Circle (FNGC), a UNC-Chapel Hill organization of American Indian graduate and professional students.

“FNGC is excited about the conversations around trauma, representation and healing that Amanda’s talk will help develop on UNC’s campus,” McCoy added.

Julie Reed is the Sequoyah Fellows Alumni Speaker, and her talk is titled “War of 1812 Pensions, Gadugi and U.S. Social Welfare.” Reed, a member of the Cherokee Nation, is an assistant professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her doctorate from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she held a Sequoyah Fellowship within The Graduate School’s Royster Society of Fellows. Her forthcoming book is titled Serving the Nation: Cherokee Sovereignty and Social Welfare, 1800-1907.

Reed will speak at 1:45 p.m., followed by Blackhorse at 2:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend a reception following the afternoon sessions.

FNGC and The Graduate School are sponsoring the event. Additional support and co-sponsorship of Blackhorse are provided by the American Indian Center.

Event Flyer: Historical Trauma and Healing The Fourth Annual Native Leaders Symposium (pdf)