Oct 21, 2016

Indigenous Peoples and the Sacred

This last Wednesday, the SMU Interfaith Council hosted a special dialog session on indigenous peoples and the concept of sacred space.  Presenters included Sean Jose, an SMU student and member of the Nez Perce tribe, and Kael Moffat, an SMU librarian.

The event was held to help the SMU community better understand the struggle of indigenous peoples against the Dakota Access oil pipeline which has cut through the Standing Rock Sioux lands in North Dakota and threatens water quality of the Missouri River.  The struggles of the tribe and its allies from all over the United States and Canada has received international attention.

A gathering of indigenous peoples' supporters on site of the Dakota Access Pipeline (image by Shane Ballowitsch from Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA).

Jose shared his feelings and experiences as a Native American whose nation has faced similar threats from industrial development and whose family members are part of the tribal delegation on site.  Moffat, who does not have Native American heritage, shared poetry about the sacred nature of place and the thoughts of Vine Deloria, Jr., a prominent Native American scholar and defender of indigenous rights.

Here is a link to the PowerPoint used in the presentation.

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