By Zach Powers '10
PLU Marketing & Communications
UPDATE (1.8.17): Due to weather concerns, the Learning from Standing Rock event has been moved to Chris Knutzen Hall (CK) in PLU’s Anderson University Center.
TACOMA, WASH. (Jan. 31, 2017)- Pacific Lutheran University will host an event titled “Learning from Standing Rock” on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. PLU and South Puget Sound community members will gather in Red Square to listen to indigenous leaders share what they’ve learned from the recent events at Standing Rock, as well as local environmental conflicts.
“The ‘NODAPL’ protection efforts at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota have captured the attention of the entire world,” said Darren Moore, a computer purchasing and services coordinator at PLU and a co-organizer of the event. “This gathering is an amazing opportunity to hear firsthand testimony from people that have played a big part in those efforts.”
Confirmed speakers include Nancy Shippentower of the Puyallup tribe, Rachel Heaton of the Muckleshoot tribe, Benita Moore of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and founder of the Native Daily Network, Matt Remle of the Lakota tribe and a leader in the divestment movement, and Robert Satiacum of the Puyallup tribe. Satiacum made national headlines in November 2016 when he dedicated his presidential electoral vote to Faith Spotted Eagle from South Dakota.
“We see this event as being part of PLU’s mission to ‘educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care,’” said Saiyare Refaei, who serves as coordinator for sustainability integration at the PLU Diversity Center. “This is a platform for local indigenous peoples to come together around Standing Rock and share with future PLU graduates and our campus community about their fight for indigenous rights, their communities and the earth.”
Learning from Standing Rock will also include a dance performance by students from Chief Leschi School and a presentation from Orgullo Purepecha, a community group that works to preserve Purepecha indigenous culture (from Michoacan, Mexico).
PLU’s Red Square is located on the university’s “upper campus” and is outside of the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Parking at all PLU lots will be free and won’t require a permit during the event.