Land Acknowledgement and Resources on Indigenous Louisville and Kentucky
The Thomas R. Watson Conference in Rhetoric and Composition takes place in Louisville, Kentucky, the ancestral homeland of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, the Osage Nation, and the Shawnee (including the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, and the Shawnee Tribe). Kentucky itself is currently home to tens of thousands of Indigenous people.
Because the past and present experiences of the Indigenous peoples of this region cannot, and should not, be quickly summarized, we encourage all who visit this page to learn about these histories and to take action to support Indigenous communities.
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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE & CITY OF LOUISVILLE
UofL’s Hispanic/Latinx & Indigenous Initiative
This initiative supports Hispanic, Latinx, and Indigenous students “through campus and community involvement, coaching, leadership development, and cultural programming and events.”
UofL professor shares endangered language books worldwide
Dr. Hilaria Cruz, a professor of comparative humanities who teaches Native American Religions and Linguistics, has published children’s books in her native language, Chatino, often collaborating with undergraduate and graduate students to write and illustrate them. Many of the books have been translated into other Indigenous languages, such as Mixtec and Anishinaabe. The article above gives more details about Dr. Cruz’s project, links to Dr. Cruz’s institutional repository where you can download the books for free, and links to a GoFundMe page that supports Cruz’s work of promoting literacy in Indigenious languages.
UofL professor speaks on being Indigenous in the academy
Dr. Ron Sheffield, a professor and Executive-in-Residence in the Department of Human Resources and Organizational Development, shared his experiences as a tribal member of the Quechan Indian Nation at the July 2022 Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) panel on “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in the Workplace.” Use the access passcode &Ah?*4 to watch the webinar.
Lance Taylor debuts as UofL’s first Native American football coach
Lance Taylor, UofL’s offensive coordinator and member of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, spoke to the Courier Journal about his Choctaw heritage and its relationship to his professional journey.
Native American Heritage Month with Nicole Robey (Butter Pecan Podcast Episode 22)
In this episode of the Butter Pecan Podcast, hosted by Kelly Nusz and Darryl Goodner, Nicole Robey, who is Winnebago Ho-Chunk and lives in Louisville, discusses the “delicious but divisive” history of fry bread.
NAGPRA: The Significance of Repatriation (Lecture at The Filson Historical Society)
Native American Collections Specialist Kelly Hyberger centers her work at the Filson Historical Society around “decolonizing museum practice and the repatriation of Indigenous cultural heritage items.” Hyberger’s July 2022 lecture explored “the NAGPRA process, what repatriation means for Indigenous communities, and how the Filson is working towards restorative justice around Indigenous collections” (“Filson Friday”).
STATE AND REGIONAL
Learn about Kentucky’s Indigenous past and present
This PDF contains selections from the chapter on Kentucky by A. Gwynn Henderson and David Pollack in the book Native America: A State-by State Historical Encyclopedia (2012, Greenwood Press).
Myth of Dark and Bloody Ground
This blog post by A. Gynn Henderson, archaeologist and educator for the Kentucky Archeological Survey, debunks the idea that although Native peoples fought over the land that is now Kentucky, they never permanently lived here.
Indigenous Americans in Kentucky
Arin Arnold-Davis, Administrative Project Manager with VisitLEX , researched and wrote this piece for the VisitLex website. This resource gives a history of Indigenous people in Kentucky from 8,000 B.C. to the early 1800s.
This website from KentuckyTourism.com maps 11 places to visit that document Kentucky’s Native heritage, from pre-Columbian settlements such as Wickliffe Moundsto 19th-century sites such as parts of the Trail of Tears.
This resource by Deana Thomas, an archivist at the Kentucky Historical Society, details the history of the Choctaw Indian Academy, which was established in Scott County, Kentucky, in 1825 and closed in 1843. Access a lecture hosted by the Choctaw Nation with historian Dr. Christina Snyder, author of a book about the academy, Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson.
The People of the Hunting Ground
The mission of The People of the Hunting Ground’s website is to “educate, document, and provide information about Native American gatherings in Kentucky and the surrounding areas. To let people know that we are here, that we have always been here. Our hopes are that someday the history books will be changed to reflect the truths of our heritage.” The website is a clearinghouse for events in the region, powwow schedules, links to Native vendors, and regional Native history.
Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum
The Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum in Corbin, Kentucky, was founded to promote “understanding of North America’s Indigenous People from both historic and contemporary perspectives” and also hosts an annual “Honoring Our Veterans Pow Wow.” As a 501(c)3 non-profit, the museum relies on donations. They are open to visitors by appointment.
Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission
The purpose of this governor-appointed commission is to recognize and promote Native Americans’ contributions in Kentucky.
Explore ways to support Indigenous organizations with donations of time and money
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Indigenous Lands Acknowledgment
This robust page includes a land acknowledgment, a map of Kentucky Indigenous territories, and Native-led organizations to support. There is an additional educational section on the peoples whose land we currently inhabit as well as a list of concrete ways that settler Kentuckians can begin, or continue, the process of decolonization and reconciliation.
American Indian Movement Chapter of Indiana and Kentucky
The Facebook page for the local chapter of the American Indian Movement that includes news and events.
The foundation works to “promote and enhance the general welfare of the people of the Osage Nation.” Along with listing events featuring Native artists and hosting an online store, the site includes a place to donate to the Osage Nation Foundation.
Miami Nation of Indians of the State of Indiana
The Miami people in Peru, Indiana, are without federal recognition. The site provides a history of the nation and their efforts to regain federal recognition, lists cultural and outreach programs, and includes a place to donate.
Myaamia Center at Miami University
An initiative of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Miami University of Ohio, the center supports the preservation of the Miami language and culture through research and educational initiatives. The site includes many research publications and digital resources. Visitors can also donate and sign up for the center’s newsletter.
This Native women-led organization seeks to “build power for Native peoples by amplifying contemporary Native voices, stories, and issues to advance justice, equity, and self-determination.” Their Resources section includes guides on Native representation in entertainment, a toolkit to advocate against the use of Native mascots in sports, and “Changemaker” lesson plans featuring Native Americans who are bringing about change in their communities.
This organization provides financial support for Native American students and tribal colleges and universities. A donation helps Native college students earn their degrees.
American Indian Science and Engineering Society
This organization seeks to increase the representation of Indigenous people in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) studies and careers. The website has resources for students, professionals, partners, and sponsors, as well as a section for news and events and ways to support the organization.
Partnership With Native Americans
This organization works to serve the immediate needs of Native Americans, whether that is food insecurity, housing, or employment. As a first responder on reservations, they request continued support for pandemic and wildfire relief. Visitors can donate on their website.
Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women
This organization was founded in 1996 by three Native women with a goal to end violence against Native women and children. The site gives a history of the organization, a listing of events, including webinars and online trainings, ways to support their work, and an option to donate.
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
This organization aims to end violence against Indigenous women while uplifting voices of advocates and offering culturally grounded technical assistance and training. A section of the site explores various ways to get involved with the organization, including policy advocacy and monetary donations.