Indigenous Determination Conference

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On October 23, Maricopa County Community Colleges presented a free virtual conference called Indigenous Determination. The idea of the conference was to gain insight on contemporary issues and subjects that Indigenous people are experiencing. In this conference, keynote speaker Darryl Tonemah, Ph.D., spoke on “Personal Sovereignty in the 21st Century.” Other speakers included Native storyteller Kyle Mitchell, Turquoise Devereux, Melody Lewis, Lian BigHorse and Debbie Manuel.

The afternoon’s program started with a welcome and a prayer, followed by the keynote speaker. Attendees could then choose which presentations to attend in one of two breakout rooms. The conference focused on a few key points that Indigenous people are experiencing in today’s world. For example, Lewis’ and Devereux’s presentations focused on social justice from an Indigenous perspective, while BigHorse focused on personal well-being. Finally, Manuel discussed why it was so important to vote in the 2020 election.