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  • Panel Examines Challenges Facing Northwest Indians

    October 13, 2011

    Anthropology Professor Ted Fortier brings together leaders from Northwest Indian tribes to discuss the challenges of weaving together traditional cultural values with the modern demands facing individuals, families, and the communities. The panel presentation, which is free and open to the public, takes place on Saturday, October 29, at 4 p.m. in Student Center 160. Fortier is the Rev. Louis Gaffney, S.J., Endowed Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences.

    “The Native Americans in this region have focused on ways to maintain a balance between traditional and modern ways, including the dualities of individualism and tribalism, traditional education and Western education, and face time and Facebook,” Fortier said. 

    Panelists include Lummi National Councilmember Darrell Hillaire, writer Rena Priest, Professor Dan Rowe of the Lakota Tribe, and representatives from the Lummi Conference on Identity.

    Professor Fortier received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Washington State University, Th.M. and M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology, M.A. from Gonzaga University, and B.A. from Simon Fraser University. He joined the College of Arts and Sciences faculty in 1997. In addition to teaching in the Department of Anthropology, Social Work and Sociology, he has served as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Theology and Ministry.

    Fortier’s research and scholarship explore the cultural identities of indigenous peoples throughout the world. He focuses on spiritual elements, cultural adaptation, and historic events. He has addressed cultural memory, resistance, environmental justice, faith, and identity. His anthropological studies have involved work with tribes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska; Mayans in Chiapas, Mexico; and peoples of the First Nations in Canada.

    The Reverend Louis Gaffney, S.J. Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences, which is made possible by the Jesuit community at Seattle University, promotes issues germane to the Jesuit mission and identity of the faith that does justice and supports the Jesuit ideal of teaching.

    The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degrees.

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