By Mark Morales
The Haskell Empowerment Summit Committees is hosting its annual Indigenous Empowerment Summit scheduled for Saturday May 5th. This summit has been organized almost every semester since its creation in 2008 by Willow Jack, Haskell Indigenous and American Indian Studies alumni. Past events held have taken on many forms over the years ranging from fund raising pow wows to indigenous games and contest encouraging outreach and networking within the community. The activities this year are designed to carry on this tradition.
Many events are held leading up to the Empowerment Summit. According to Empowerment Committee Co-Director Terri Merrell (Diné/Apache/Osage) “As the semester comes to an end we wanted to host enjoyable social events in which all students, staff, faculty, and public can attend.” This year’s Empowerment Summit events include Indigenous inspired movies shown in the auditorium, an outside fun day event held at the powwow grounds, and the 2018 Indigenous Empowerment Summit. The activities aim to stand in conjunction with the summits mission statement; The Haskell Empowerment Committee is a Student Senate led organization which operates exclusively for education and empowerment purposes. Each academic year we strive towards bringing the annual Indigenous Empowerment Summit to the Haskell and Lawrence community to promote a collaborative and informative environment where Haskell students and the public can gain knowledge and network with one another. Empowerment Summit Committee director, Sean Parrish (Diné) states that “This is an event that Haskell Student Senate host every spring semester. This event is held to bring communities of Indigenous people together. This unity will provide a platform for an open dialogue toward the progressive needs of our people. We seek to empower one another, as well as encourage relationships that will strengthen our Indigenous Network.”
The Empowerment Committee events show a commitment to keeping the original summits spirit alive. The 9th annual Indigenous Empowerment Summit will consist of a panel of various speakers, entertainment, and discussions which will be held in the Haskell Auditorium on Saturday; May 5th from 12PM-5PM