Native America speaker/poet to present lecture at NSU

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Northwestern State University will host a guest lecture by Bobby Gonzales titled “We Are Still Here: How First Nations Survived Pandemics and Other Catastrophes.” 

The lecture will take place beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2 in the Student Union Ballroom. The talk is free and is open to the public. 

Gonzales is an Indigenous/Latino lecturer, storyteller and poet based in New York City.  He is the author of several books including “TAINO ZEN” and “The Last Puerto Rican Indian:  A Collection of Dangerous Poetry.”  Gonzales has presented at Carnegie Hall, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Detroit Institute of Arts and many other museums and colleges.  He organizes and emcees at the annual Bronx Native American Festival.  He was selected as the 2018-19 New York City Indian of the Year.

Gonzales’ lecture is an examination of how Native Peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere overcame epidemics, land theft, forced relocation and the violent attempt to assimilate them through the boarding school system. 

“Dr. [Michael] Snowden (vice president for Diversity and Inclusion) and I are excited to host Mr. Gonzalez as his lecture exemplifies our efforts to bring forth more awareness and cultivate diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Brittany Blackwell Broussard, coordinator of the Center for Inclusion and Diversity.

The lecture is sponsored by the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Minor, Native American Student Association and the Center for Inclusion and Diversity. 

“Unfortunately, when much of the public thinks about American Indians and other Indigenous people, they think about us as if we are in the past. But we are very much part of the present,” said Dr. Rebecca Riall, assistant professor and coordinator of Ethnic studies at NSU.  “This is an opportunity to learn about contemporary issues facing Indigenous communities.”

For more information, contact Broussard at blackwellb@nsula.edu.