Experiences of Indigenous Peoples in North America and the Middle East: A Part of Genocide Awareness Week


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Join the Center for Middle Eastern Studies for "Experiences of Indigenous Peoples in North America and the Middle East: A Part of Genocide Awareness Week."

Dr. Leo K. Killsback, J.D. Candidate, James E. Rogers College of Law: "Lessons in Genocide: the American Indian Experience and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples"

Leo K. Killsback (Northern Cheyenne) is an award-winning scholar and author of Indigenous political theory, sovereignty, history, and culture.

The history of Native America is rarely told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples, and yet the commonly accepted narrative is that the colonization of Native America was simply a clash between primitive tribal aboriginals and advanced civilized nations of Europe. I intend to offer Indigenous perspectives of the colonization of Native America, relying on the development of international law, treaty rights, and human rights. The story of the colonization of Native America should not be accepted as the inevitable demise of Indigenous Nations, but should be understood as the failure of spiritual maturity and a lesson for humanity.

Esther Elia, Post-MFA Graduate: "Incantation Bowls and the Pathway to Trans-Indigenous Exchange"

Esther Elia (she/her) is from Turlock, California. She received a BFA in Illustration from California College of the Arts, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting/Drawing from the University of New Mexico. Her art practice focuses on the Assyrian experience in diaspora, and uses painting and sculpture to explore themes of creating homeland and culture as a currently stateless nation.

The talk will outline how research into Assyrian Incantation bowls resulted in the projects "The Assyrian Prayer Bowl Archive" and "Native Soil." The latter was a community arts initiative that brought Native American potters from the Southwest to the Assyrian village of Bebedeh (Northern Iraq) to hold clay workshops in June 2023.

Dr. Mariam Georgis, Assistant Professor of Global Indigeneity: "Traversing Disciplinary Boundaries, Globalizing Indignities: Visibilizing Assyrians in the Present"

Mariam Georgis is Assistant Professor of Global Indigeneity in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University.

The author's work spans the disciplinary boundaries of political science, Middle East studies, Indigenous studies, and their subfields. Broadly situated within critical theoretical bodies of knowledge, she focuses on an Indigenous nation in what is today known as Iraq. Her work is grounded within particular and fragmented locations that blur various lines and multiple layers of coloniality. This article offers a critical reflection of the invisibility in working on Indigeneity in southwest Asia within the structural imperatives of the academy.

Contact Info & Links

Julie Ellison-Speight




Henry Koffler Building, Room 204
1340 E. University Blvd.