The Winona State University Inclusion and Diversity Office will host speakers Kay McGowan and Fay Givens for “Overview of American Indians Today and Issues Impacting Indian Country” as part of Native American Heritage Month at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, in the East Hall of Kryzsko Commons.

The United States government made promises through treaties, laws, policies and pledges to support and protect Native Americans in exchange for land and in compensation for forced removal from their homelands.  These promises have fallen short and Native Americans continue to suffer the consequences of a legal system based on the “Doctrine of Discovery.”

Native Americans continue to rank at the bottom of every social economic indicator.  As a small minority, resources are lacking to advocate for better conditions.  Society’s lack of understanding of Native Americans’ political situation and the historical injustices impacting their community makes healing difficult.

McGowan is a professor in the anthropology department at Eastern Michigan University and her twin sister, Givens, is Director of American Indian Services in Lincoln Park, Mich. Both have worked with the United Nations in an attempt to strengthen the rights of indigenous people in countries throughout the world.

The event is free and open to the public and co-sponsored by WSU Rochester, WSU Winona, WSU College of Education, and Southeast Technical College.

For more information, contact Alex Hines at 507-457-5595 or email

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Eric Hawkins

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