Honoring The Resiliency Of American Indian Nations

Jan 12, 2015

Meeting Date: Friday, January 9, 2015

Air Date: Monday, January 12, 2015

The American Anthropological Association recently condemned the use of Indian mascots in any form—a concrete denunciation of a practice under discussion for several years. A related discussion is about the historic agreements with Native American tribes and the value of recognizing the sovereignty of the 566 tribal nations in the United States. Jason Younker is at the forefront of these discussions.

The American Indian experience differs significantly from the accounts in most American History books. There are those who would have us ignore America’s dark history and those who advocate rectifying historic wrongs. When reminded that the City of Seattle is a national leader in the transformation of Columbus Day, he asks, “Why not Oregon? Why not Eugene?”

Younker will explain why it is important to remember the resiliency of humanity, not only in the context of American colonialism but globally. He fills a relatively new position on the UO President’s staff and is responsible for maintaining government-to-government relations with Oregon’s 9 federally recognized tribes and the 42 tribal nations that have aboriginal ties to Oregon.

A member of the Coquille Nation who grew up in Coos Bay, Younker earned his PhD in anthropology at the University of Oregon in 2003. Before returning to the UO this summer, he was a tenured associate professor and Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is the President of the Association of Indigenous Anthropologists.

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