CINCINNATI, OH (April 6, 2017) –
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is hosting Community Conversations: Standing Rock on Thursday, April 27, at 7:00 p.m. This community conversation, organized by Northern Kentucky University (NKU) graduate student Rachel Ellison, will address the current issues surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the tribes of Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. This program is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested.
The conversation will be moderated by Allison Warner, President of Kiksuya, an NKU student organization dedicated to service and outreach to Native American communities. Panelists include Albert Ortiz, Chairman of the American Indian Movement of Indiana and Kentucky and a member of the Kiowa and Yaqui tribes; Dr. Nicole Grant, PhD, Professor of Sociology at Northern Kentucky University and an expert on Indigenous issues; Dr. Joan Ferrante, PhD, Professor of Sociology at Northern Kentucky University and an expert on race relations; and Alan Seifert, a local Cincinnatian activist who recently traveled to Standing Rock to participate in the protests.
“This panel will address the gravity of DAPL, the protests, and how it has and will impact our entire nation – not just one group of people,” says Richard Cooper, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Director of Museum Experiences. “We want to ensure that those in attendance are aware of the facts and not making assumptions.”
Since the Trump administration took office, an Executive Order to advance the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as the Keystone Pipeline, has been signed. The Army Corps of Engineers has also advanced the project and officially shut down the Oceti Sakowin Camp. Ellison, a NKU graduate student and intern at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, organized this panel after delivering supplies to the Oceti Sakowin Camp in North Dakota last November.
“The issues at Standing Rock are rooted in the genocide of their people that has been happening for hundreds of years,” says Ellison. “This is why it is important that we do not turn a blind eye to this issue and why I brought this conversation to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.”