As empires, and other human activities, cause different groups of people to clash or brush against one another, individuals caught up in the cultural shifts have dealt differently with the changes. In North America, many Native groups strive to maintain an identity separate from but coexistent with the decedents of colonizers and new immigrants alike. Friends of Ganondagan has teamed up with Nazareth College to present a fall lecture series that focuses on the identity politics surrounding "Adoption and Adaptation." The lectures will explore instances in which non-Natives have been adopted into Native cultures, and in which Natives have been adopted into non-Native culture.
Two lectures in this series remain, and each will take place at 7 p.m. at Nazareth College's Shults Center (4245 East Ave.). On Thursday, October 24, the subject will be "Adopting 'In': Preserving Iroquois Traditional Community," featuring speakers G. Peter Jemison, Ganondagan site manager and eighth-generation descendent of Mary Jemison; and Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, executive director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. Using the historical examples of Mary Jemison and Matilda Joslyn Gage, these speakers will delve explore variations of adopting "in," part of an ancient Native tradition that preceded European arrival.
On Thursday, November 21, speakers Ronnie Reitter, Ganondagan site interpreter and former foster child; and Jack T. Ericson, Native genealogy expert, will discuss "Adopting 'Out': Researching and Reclaiming Identity." Reitter will share her personal story about finding family, and Ericson will address resources and strategies for searching out one's roots.
Individual lecture prices are $15; $10/Friends of Ganondagan members; $5/students with ID. Tickets will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the event. For more information, visit ganondagan.org/events.html or call 742-1690.