“The 2016 Oregon Wildlife Refuge Takeover: A Tribal Response”

A year ago, Former Chairwoman Charlotte Roderique of the Burns Paiute Tribe in Eastern Oregon came to national attention during the armed takeover, led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Originally part of the Paiute home territory, the Refuge holds many of the tribe’s sacred sites, as well as artifacts and natural resources laden with cultural meaning. In a press conference, followed by a New York Times editorial, the Former Chairwoman vigorously presented the tribe’s view of the takeover. Mocking the refuge occupiers’ demand that they should be recognized as the original owners of the public lands, the Burns Paiute people asserted their status as the original residents and brought attention to the remarkable cooperation among Native peoples, federal employees, and ranchers, that had been in place before the Bundys seized center-stage.

“Charlotte Roderique is a forthright and inspirational leader, and also one of the American West’s most gifted practitioners in the art of using wit and humor to put fresh and disarming ideas into play,” Patty Limerick, Faculty Director of the Center of the American West, observed. “Anyone who joins us on February 21st will remember her visit for years to come.”

The Modern Indian Identity Program features a series of contemporary Indian speakers telling their stories in ways that confirm the compatibility of tradition with innovation. The speakers have a profound tie to their peoples’ pasts, and they have also adapted with agility and enterprise to the conditions of our times. This event is made possible by the generosity of Liz and Tony Moores.

This program is FREE and open to public.

Front page and top photo courtesy of Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com