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Sunday, April 22 • 10:00am - 11:15am
Writing Blood Quantum: Who is "Native" and Who Gets to Decide?

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Blood quantum, i.e, "what fraction Native you are", as the requirement for tribal belonging, is not sustainable over time. In a world where Native people are "marrying out" and having children outside of their tribe and/or their ethnic group, questions like 'What does it mean to be Native? and Who gets to decide" have become political lightning rods. To approach such a historically and politically-charged topic, Ratteree and Hill have edited a volume, "The Great Vanishing Act: Blood Quantum and the Future of Native Nations" (Fulcrum Publishing Sept. 2017), that celebrates Native and indigenous perspectives from across the US, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. Through essays, personal stories, case studies, satire, and poetry, these writers explore the biological and cultural metaphor of blood quantum, the most critical issue facing indigenous populations in the 21st century.

Speakers are:
Norbert Hill, Jr (Oneida) Director of Education for the Oneida Nation, retired
Artley Skenandore (Oneida), Principal of Oneida High School
Tesia Zientek (Potawatomi), Education Director, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Kathleen Ratteree , moderator.



Norbert is an enrolled citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and is the Area Director of Education and Training for the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. Hill’s previous appointment was Vice President of the College of Menominee Nation for their Green Bay campus. Hill served as the executive director of the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) in New Mexico, a nonprofit organization providing funding for American Indians and Alaska Natives to pursue graduate and professional degrees. Previous positions include: the executive director of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, assistant dean of students at the University of Wisconsin-Green
Bay, and director of the American Indian Educational Opportunity Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He founded Winds of Change and The American Indian Graduate, magazine, publications of AISES and AIGC respectively. Hill holds two honorary doctorates from Clarkson University (1996) and Cumberland College (1994). Past board appointments include Environmental Defense Fund, chair and board member of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, and the Wisconsin Historical Society. In 1989, Hill was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.

Tesia Zientek is a Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member. With financial help from a
prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, she graduated magna cum laude from the University
of Notre Dame in 2009 with her Bachelor of Arts in English. After graduation, Tesia spent two
years teaching and running an afterschool program in Puerto Rico before pursuing her passion
for education through graduate study. In 2013, she graduated with her Master of Arts in
Education Policy from Stanford University. To celebrate her educational achievements, Tesia
has received the Howard Yackus Memorial Award and the NextGen 30 Under 30. In October
2015, she became the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s first Director for its new Education
Department, which aims to help tribal members identify and reach their educational goals. Since
2012, Tesia has also served as Potawatomi Leadership Program Advisor, helping to restructure
and implement curriculum for the Harvard Honoring Nations Award-winning internship
program.

Speakers
avatar for Kathleen Ratteree

Kathleen Ratteree

Since 2013, Kathleen has worked with Sustain Oneida, a subcommittee of the Oneida Nation Trust and Enrollment Committee since 2013. This grassroots group facilitates constructive community dialogue on tribal enrollment criteria (i.e., blood quantum). She has written a series of articles... Read More →



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