Press Release - For Immediate Release
Contact: Lorén Spears, Executive Director
390 A Summit Road Exeter, RI02822
Date: May 10, 2017
Title: Perspectives on Standing Rock: Resistance and Sovereignty
EXETER, RI - On Saturday, May 20th, Tomaquag Museum will be presenting a 3 person panel entitled “Perspectives on Standing Rock: Resistance and Sovereignty”. Join us as panelists share their experiences at Oceti Sakowin and with the movement that united indigenous and non-indigenous people all over the world. Please join us from 12:30pm-2:00pm as we discuss treaty rights, environmental sovereignty, and solidarity across all communities.
Jennifer Edwards Weston is a researcher who has worked for the past two decades with tribal community programs focused on cultural resiliency, environmental justice, education, and language revitalization. She has written for the Lakota Nation Journal, Cultural Survival Quarterly, and Our Mother Tongues.org, and served as an associate producer for the PBS series "We Shall Remain: A Native History of America." Weston also works as a consulting producer for indigenous film and documentary projects. Currently, she serves as project director for Mukayuhsak Weekuw: The Children's House (a language immersion preschool and kindergarten), and Language Department Director for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. From 2014-16 she co-taught the Civic Engagement Scholarship Initiative (CESI) course at UMass Boston, "Native American Women in North America: Indigenous Mother Tongues, Leadership and Self-Determination.” Weston is Hunkpapa Lakota and was born and raised on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where she has served her tribal government as environmental outreach coordinator and grant writer. She is a novice learner of the Lakota and Wampanoag languages.
Michael Kickingbear Johnson is an enrolled member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut and currently works for his tribe as the Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. Michael spends most of his free time now working in Internet broadcasting & podcasting. Through his side company, Single Feather Media, Michael has provided the live video Internet Broadcast of the Native American Music Awards since 2001, and more recently in late 2015, Michael and his co-host David Grey Owl, (Echoda Cherokee) launched Native Opinion, a current affairs talk radio show, which speaks on current native news, National American politics, and features guests in a wide range of professions from politics to music.
Native Opinion speaks solely from the hosts own Indigenous perspectives. Michael loves working with native communities, teaching and empowering Indigenous people to use media and broadcast to elevate their voices so that they are no longer considered a silent minority.
Christian Hopkins is a member of the Narragansett Indian Tribe and of the Narragansett Indian Church. He graduated Haskell Indian Nations University magna cum laude and has been serving as an activist for indigenous rights. Christian organized a donation drive to raise supplies for the protest camps and successfully executed a mission to build a long house that served as a temporary school for children of the Water Protectors. He was present at Standing Rock during one the aggressive assaults on the encampment, an experience that has made a lasting impression and has become motivation to create positive change. Christian has established himself as a champion dancer, artist, and community leader in preserving indigenous rights.
About Tomaquag Museum
Tomaquag Museum, a Native led non-profit museum. is Rhode Island’s only museum entirely dedicated to telling the story of Indigenous Peoples from a first person perspective. Established in 1958, Tomaquag serves as a cultural bridge between the past, present and future as well as a facilitator between the Indigenous communities and the diverse world.
Tomaquag Museum is a recipient of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community.
Our mission is to provide public education through our unique collection, lectures, arts & educator workshops, tours, and offsite programs regarding Native history, culture, arts, current events and environmental issues. The Museum is open Wednesdays, 9am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm and is visited each year by artists, researchers, students, and travelers from across the United States and throughout the world. For more information visit www.tomaquagmuseum.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.