Robert Warrior (Osage) will give a lecture and lead a discussion on the University of Illinois’ Indian mascot issue and the intersection of art, hate-related vandalism, and anti-Indian sentiment during a recent art exhibit at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Warrior’s discussion will primarily focus on an art exhibit of work by Cheyenne-Arapaho artist HOCK E AYE VI Edgar Heap of Birds at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The exhibit ran from February 2009 through December 2009 and was vandalized five times during that period. The display consisted of panels in a format akin to road signs that included community names of traditional Native American groups: the Wea, Meskwaki, and Peoria tribes of Illinois. Because the series of attacks specifically targeted the Native American community, the vandalism falls under the definition of a “Hate Crime” as described by the United States Department of Justice.
Robert Warrior has been invited to campus as a guest of the “Native American Histories and Cultures” course in the American Studies Department. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of Warrior’s public lecture—touching on Native American culture, art, and peace—numerous sponsors collaborated to make the event possible, including: Department of American Studies, Department of Anthropology, Snite Museum of Art, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Native American Students Association of Notre Dame, MSPS (Multicultural Student Programs and Services), and the Center for Social Movements.
Robert Warrior is Director of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is the current President of the Native American and Indigenous Scholars Association (NAISA). He is the author of Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions, and co-author of The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction, American Indian Literary Nationalism, and Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee.
Warrior holds degrees from Union Theological Seminary (Ph.D., Systematic Theology), Yale University (M.A., Religion), and Pepperdine University (B.A. summa cum laude, Speech Communication).
This event is free and open to the public.