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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Featured Speakers

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Featured Speakers
winona LaDukeWinona LaDuke, Keynote Speaker
Winona LaDuke, is an Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg and is the mother of three children. Winona is the Program Director of Honor the Earth and Founding Director of White Earth Land Recovery Project. Leading Honor the Earth she provides vision and leadership for the organization's Regranting Program and its Strategic Initiatives. In addition, she has worked for two decades on the land issues of the White Earth Reservation, including litigation, over land rights in the 1980's. In 1989, she received the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which in part she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project. In 1994, Winona was nominated by Time Magazine as one of America's fifty most promising leaders under forty years of age, and has also been awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, the Ann Bancroft Award, MS Woman of the Year Award (with the Indigo Girls in 1997), the Global Green Award, and numerous other honors. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. Her books include: Last Standing Woman (fiction), All Our Relations (non-fiction), In the Sugarbush (Children's), and just out, the Winona LaDuke Reader.
kevin lockeKevin Locke
Pre-Conference Performance November 30th @ 7:30 p.m., Workshops December 1st
Kevin Locke (Tokeya Inajin is his Lakota name, meaning "The First to Arise") is known throughout the world as a visionary Hoop Dancer, the preeminent player of the indigenous Northern Plains flute, a traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist and educator.
Kevin is Lakota (Hunkpapa Band of Lakota Sioux) and Anishinabe. It was from his mother, Patricia Locke (1991 MacArthur Foundation Grant winner), his uncle Abraham End-of-Horn, mentor Joe Rock Boy, and many other elders and relatives that Kevin received training in the values, traditions and language of his native culture for which he works tirelessly. While his early instructions were received from his immediate family and community, from his extending family in every part of the world Kevin has learned many lessons in global citizenship and how we each can draw from our individual heritages to create a vibrant, evolving global civilization embracing and celebrating our collective heritage.
kevin locke 
Kevin's goal is "to raise awareness of the Oneness we share as human beings." His belief in the Unity of human kind is expressed dramatically in the traditional Hoop Dance which illustrates "the roles and responsibilities that all human beings have within the hoops (or circles) of life."
brenda childBrenda Child
“The History of American Indian Families and their Experiences with Government Boarding Schools”
Brenda Child teaches courses in American Indian Studies and History. Her book Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940 was the first study to make use of American Indian letters to document the boarding school and assimilation experiences of Native children and families. Boarding School Seasons was awarded the North American Indian Prose Award. She was a consultant to the Heard Museum exhibit in Phoenix called Remembering Our Indian School Days. She is working on several new book-length projects. The first project examines Ojibwe history in the twentieth century and the labor practices of men and women associated with the traditional wild rice harvest. The second is a comparative study of indigenous leaders from the United States, Canada, and New Zealand who directed efforts to decolonize education. She is also writing a general history of Indian education in the United States that considers boarding school history, public schools, and contemporary indigenous movements in language revitalization. Child is a Board Member of the Minnesota Historical Society, the Eiteljorg Museum, the Division of Indian Work and is an officer in the American Society for Ethnohistory and member of the Board of Editors of Ethnohistory. In 2003, she was awarded the President’s Outstanding Community Service Award at the University of Minnesota. She is a tribal member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe.
David E. Larsen
David Larsen was born and raised on the Lower Sioux Reservation in Morton, Minnesota.   A Viet Nam era Navy veteran, David completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota.  He completed a fellowship in Dakota history at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. 
Mr. Larsen served three terms as Chairman of the Lower Sioux Reservation Tribal Council.  He spent 20 years as an educator for both the Morton and Redwood Falls schools.  David taught American Indian history and cultural studies at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and also at Mankato State University.  Mr. Larsen was appointed Chairperson of the first American Indian Advisory Council to the Minnesota Historical Society.  For over 15 years, he has served as a resource person to the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, which conducts national workshops on undoing racism.  He provided individual and spiritual counseling for incarcerated American Indians for ten years.  Mr. Larsen currently is an educational consultant providing American Indian culture and history lectures for groups age kindergarten through senior citizens.  
David makes his home in Crystal, Minnesota where he continues to educate children in the Robbinsdale School system.  He is the father of four adult children, one adult stepson and an adopted daughter.  He has 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  
Lawrence, Dr. Elden
Dr. Elden Lawrence was born in 1936 on the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  He was one of ten children of whom nine were boys.  As a youth, he learned to hunt wild game and fish in the small creeks which provided a large portion of their food.  With no work and being in poverty, there were many days with empty stomachs.  Most of his early years were years of want.  Serving in the military was one way out of the miserable conditions.  On his 17th birthday, after attending one year of high school at the Flandreau Indian School, Elden joined the army following four older brothers who served in the armed forces.  Elden served a total of six years in the army.
In 1968, while in a halfway house for alcoholics in Minneapolis, Elden placed himself in the hand of his Creator.  Soon after, he married Kim Johnson and they had two children, Derrick and Deborah.  At the age of 44 years and equipped with only a GED, Elden decided that education would give him a better opportunity to provide for his small family.  He was the first 4.0 graduate from the Sisseton Wahpeton Community College.  After obtaining a bachelor and masters degrees, he became only the second American Indian to receive a doctorate from South Dakota State University in Brookings.  Dr. Lawrence became the president of the president of the Sisseton Wahpeton Community College, providing leadership through some very difficult years.  Dr. Lawrence also found time to serve two terms as a Tribal Councilman and fill out a vacated term as the Tribal Secretary. 
Dr. Lawrence is currently a professor in Ethnic Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. 
LeBeau, Sebastian (Bronco)
Sabastian (Bronco) LeBeau is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Lakota (Sioux) Tribe which is headquartered in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.  He comes from the Itazipco band and the Nape Luta (Red Hand) tiospaye. 
Bronco earned his undergraduate degree in 1993 from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion with a double major in Anthropology and Psychology and minor in Dakota Studies.  Bronco continued his education and came to Minnesota State University, Mankato where he earned a Master of Science in Cultural Anthropology.  Currently, Bronco is a doctorial candidate at the University of Minnesota in the Anthropology Department and is also an adjunct professor here at MSU, Mankato. 
Bronco is a Lakota oral historian, a recognized Spiritual Leader and a Sundance Chief.  Bronco’s dedication and commitment is towards Lakota culture and everything he does is done for his people. 
Allen, Dr. Wayne
Dr. Wayne E. Allen is currently an Assistant Professor and Graduate Director for the Department of Ethnic Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  He received his BA in anthropology and religious studies from MSU; his MA in cultural anthropology in 1991 and his Ph.D. in 1998, both from University of California at Santa Barbara.  Dr. Allen’s research in the Northwest Territories was conducted among the Dene Indians from 1991-1994 and it focused on participatory action research, community resource management, cultural and natural resource conservation practices and resource sustainability.  Dr. Allen and his student research assistants are currently working on environmental justice issues and the development of a participatory action research project titled ACCEPT – A Community based Cultural Exchange Program for Tolerance.  Dr. Allen has several publications.