CLEMSON – Author, activist and Pfessor, Waziyatawin is recognized as a leading indigenous intellectual. She will share stories, experiences and research at Clemson in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is recognized nationally Oct. 8.
On Tuesday, Oct. 9, Waziyatawin will lead a professional development workshop called “Decolonizing Education,” from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in Meeting Room B at the Hendrix Student Center. Waziyatawin will talk about cultivating relationships to the natural world and explain why she believes “the educational system has served to disconnect us from the land and to bind us to colonial systems.”
“Researchers like professors Rhondda Thomas and Andrea Feeser are helping us gain a better understanding of Clemson’s complicated, but rich history,” said Jerad Green, Associate Director of Gantt Center Multicultural Programs. “As a land grant institution, it is important for us to acknowledge the Cherokee lands the institution resides on and how our connection to that land and community is essential to our growth.”
Green said Indigenous Peoples’ Day helps mark another chapter in Clemson’s diverse history. Last year professor Sasanehsaeh Pyawasay, from the Menominee Nation, came to Clemson to discuss the importance of preserving Indigenous culture and identity.
“This year, we are looking forward to Dr. Waziyatawin’s visit as she helps us navigate reparative justice in a colonial context,” Green said.
That context will be the subject of Waziyatawin’s keynote address Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m. in the Hendrix Center’s McKissick Theater. The Dakota professor will discuss “today’s anti-colonial justice efforts in Dakota homeland and the implications for indigenous homelands throughout the United States.”
Waziyatawin was born Angela Lynn Cavendar. She is from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe (Yellow Medicine Village) in southwestern Minnesota. When she was a child, an elder gave her the name Waziyatawin, which means ‘woman of the north.’ Eleven years ago, she legally changed her married name, Angela Cavendar Wilson, to Waziyatawin.
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Waziyatawin earned her Ph.D. in American History from Cornell University. She held tenured positions at Arizona State University and the University of Victoria where she served as the Indigenous Peoples’ research chair in the Indigenous Governance Program.
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