Medicine Ways Conference Explores Language

34th annual event convenes May 9 at UCR, annual Pow Wow begins May 22

34th annual Medicine Ways Conference will focus on the importance of keeping language alive.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – The importance of keeping language alive will be examined in the 34th Annual Medicine Ways Conference at the University of California, Riverside, on Saturday, May 9. The event begins at 9 a.m. in HUB 302 and concludes at 8 p.m. It’s free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. RSVP to Joshua Gonzales, director of Native American Student Programs, at Parking is free in Lot 1.

The Medicine Ways Conference is the first of two major events presented this month by Native American students at UCR. The second, the annual UCR Pow Wow, begins Friday, May 22, and continues through Saturday, May 23, at the UCR Sports Complex, 1000 W. Blaine St. The event is an inter-tribal social gathering celebrating Native American culture and traditions through singing, drumming, and dancing. Traditional Native American dancers, drum groups, bird singers, and other artists will be present, and vendors will sell food, handmade Native American jewelry, arts and crafts, and other merchandise. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Parking is free in Lot 26.

34th annual Pow Wow will take place Friday, May 22-Saturday, May 23.

34th annual Pow Wow will take place Friday, May 22-Saturday, May 23.

Over the years the Medicine Ways Conference has addressed medicine, music, song, politics, literature, history and health issues. It is organized by the Native American Student Association, who continue the tradition of presenting speakers to discuss topics important to the American Indian community.

“We look forward every year to everyone coming together at these events,” Gonzales said. “Over the years Medicine Ways has continued to grow with students, staff, faulty and community members participating. Last year we had more than 300 people attend. It’s a beautiful conference; [it’s great] to see people make new friends, see old friends, and enjoy themselves, to share knowledge, and to regain balance in our lives.”

This year’s theme, “Language: Revitalization of a Culture,” will concentrate on movements emphasizing the importance of language and how it continually shapes indigenous lives.

“With the era of colonization and forced assimilation many indigenous languages were lost and with them an understanding of the lands on which they were removed from and relocated on,” Gonzales explained. “With the introduction of new technologies and a push from many indigenous communities, we see many current movements to retain and revitalize indigenous languages.”

Conference sponsors are: Cahuilla Casino, Tejon Indian Tribe, Pala Band of Mission Indians, and from UCR, Native American Student Programs, Native American Student Association, Graduate Student Association, Rupert Costo Endowed Chair, California Center for Native Nations, and Native American Education Program.

Medicine Ways Conference Schedule:

  • 9-9:30 a.m. – Check in Highlander Union Building Lobby (HUB 3rd floor)
  • 9:30-10 a.m. – Blessing by Ernest Siva, and breakfast (HUB 302)
  • 10:10-10:20 a.m. – University welcome
  • 10:20-11 a.m. – Opening Keynote speaker- Ernest Siva
  • 11:10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Break out sessions
    1. Páayish Néken Language Foundation (HUB 335)
    2. Screening, Rising Voices Hótȟaŋiŋpi Revitalizing Lakota Language Film (HUB 379)
    3. Dancing Revitalization 1: Dancing Earth and other Indigenous Choreographic Activations With ICR participants Rulan Tangen, Tria Andrews and Maria Firmino-Castillo (HUB 269)
    4. Screening, Marcus Briggs-Cloud: Complexities of language revitalization and modern ideas of racism (HUB 268)
    5. Language through story and song (HUB 265)
  • 12:10-1 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1:10-2 p.m. – Keynote Speakers- Rose Ann and Anne Hamilton
  • 2:10-3 p.m. – Break out sessions
    • Páayish Néken Language Foundation (HUB 335)
    • Screening, Rising Voices Hótȟaŋiŋpi Revitalizing Lakota Language Film (HUB 379)
    • Dancing Revitalization 2: Choreographing Connection with ICR participants Emily Johnson, Tanya Lukin Linklater, and Karyn Recollet (HUB 269)
    • Screening Marcus Briggs-Cloud: Complexities of Language Revitalization and Modern Ideas of Racism (HUB 268)
    • Language through story and song – Bill Madrigal (HUB 265)
  • 3-3:10 p.m. – Break
  • 3:10-4:20 p.m. – Language Revitalization Panel (moderated by William Madrigal) Sean Milanovich, Cristina and Michelle Morreo, and Stanley Rodriguez (HUB 302)
  • 4:30-6 p.m. – Dinner and Bird Singers (HUB 302)
  • 6-7 p.m. – Klee Benally
  • 7-8 p.m. – Frank Waln

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-5893
Twitter: mojgansherkat

Additional Contacts

Joshua Gonzales
Tel: (951) 827-4143

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