September 20, 2009

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University will host the fourth annual Susquehanna River Symposium, "Cultures at the Confluence: Native Americans, Ecology and the Susquehanna Valley," on Friday, Sept. 25, and Saturday, Sept. 26.

Highlights include a keynote address by acclaimed Native American writer and environmental activist Linda Hogan, an award-winning poet and novelist of the Chickasaw Nation; a performance by the Native Nations Dance Theater; and a tour of the historic site of Chief Shikellamy's settlement at the Susquehanna confluence.

Other events include discussions of heritage conservation, ancient Indian rock carvings along the Susquehanna, and contemporary Indian cultures in the valley, and the WVIA premiere of its documentary "Hearth and Harvest" on the culture, history, and challenges today of valley farming.

Restoration and insight
"This year's symposium gathers together native peoples, scholars and community residents, to talk about a larger vision of environmental restoration that includes culture, tradition and heritage," said Katherine Faull, professor of German and humanities at Bucknell and distinguished scholar-in-residence at the Bucknell Environmental Center.

"It provides insight into green-sector work involving cultural and community issues, while modeling a regional network that spans environmental and cultural concerns, including the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies, the Susquehanna Colloquium for Nature and Human Communities, the Susquehanna Greenways Partnership, Friends of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail, and Friends of Shikellamy Park," said Alf Siewers, associate professor of English at Bucknell and coordinator of the Nature and Human Communities Initiative of the Bucknell Environmental Center.

Schedule of events Friday, Sept. 25

·    3 to 4:30 p.m., Gardner Lecture Hall, Dana Engineering Building: "Cultural and Historical Geography: Mapping the Susquehanna Valley in the 21st Century," moderated by Gary Bloss, director, Susquehanna Greenways Partnership. Panelists and topics include "Human Geography of the Susquehanna," Ben Marsh; "Mapping History, Ethnicity, Place," Emily Bitely '11; and "Historic Corridor Proposal," David O'Neill, president, Friends of the John Smith Chesapeake Trail.

·    6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Gardner Lecture Hall, Dana Engineering Building: keynote address by Linda Hogan, whose writing focuses on the relationships between humans and the environment and emphasizes the idea that all life is interconnected.

·    8:15 to 9:30 p.m., Campus Theatre, Lewisburg: premiere of "Hearth and Harvest," a WVIA documentary which examines the ways in which agriculture has played a crucial role in the history and culture of Pennsylvania, and juxtaposes its history with an analysis of the issues that challenge farmers in the modern agricultural era.

Schedule of events Saturday, Sept. 26

·    9 to 10:15 a.m., Gardner Lecture Hall, Dana Engineering Building: "History of Native Americans in the Susquehanna Watershed," coordinated by Katherine Faull. Topics include "Upper Susquehanna Archaeology and History," Deb Twigg, director, Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native American Studies; "Lower Susquehanna Petroglyphs," Paul Nevin, past president, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology; and "The Confluence and Old Shamokin," Cindy Inkrote, director, Northumberland County Historical Society.

·    10:30 to 11:45 a.m., Gardner Lecture Hall, Dana Engineering Building: "Native Americans in Pennsylvania: Contemporary Viewpoints," coordinated by David Minder out and Jessica Dorset, Bloomsburg University. Respondents include Marietta Antonio-Fryer, Joel Keener, Cheney University. Topics include "Native American Oral Traditions," Jerry Dietz, Seneca Nation; "Native American Spirituality," Kenneth Hayden, Shawnee Nation; and "Lenape Language Revival," Susan Taffe, Lenape/Nanticoke Nations.

·    1:15 to 2:30 p.m., Gardner Lecture Hall, Dana Engineering Building: "Heritage, the Environment and the Future of the Susquehanna Valley," coordinated by Alf Siewers, Bucknell University Environmental Center Nature and Human Communities Initiative. Topics include "History and Conservation at the Headwaters," Henry S. Fenimore Cooper, chairman, Otsego 2000, and Linn Cary Mehta, lecturer, Bard College; "American Indian Culture and Ecological Restoration in the Northeast," Donald Grinde, professor and chair, American Studies, University of Buffalo; and "Native American Environmental Ethics and a Watershed Project," Sid Jamieson, Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Bucknell University, and Greenwood Conservancy.

·    2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Dana Engineering Building: "Poster Session" with faculty and students and watershed organizations - Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies, and Susquehanna Colloquium for Nature and Human Communities.

·    3:30 to 5 p.m. Tour of the historic center of Chief Shikellamy's community at the Susquehanna Confluence; details to be available at the Symposium welcome table.

·    7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Terrace Room, Elaine Langone Center: "Mini Powwow," performance by Native Nations Dance Theater featuring native dances from different tribal nations, singing, flute playing, drumming, and audience participation.

Registration at the conference welcome table is required for anyone who wishes to buy advance tickets for the Friday dinner (5 p.m., Bostwick Cafeteria, Elaine Langone Center) and Saturday luncheon (noon, Bostwick Cafeteria, Elaine Langone Center), but is not required to attend events. Cost for meal tickets is $8.65 for brunch $10.30 for dinner, payable by cash or check at Gardner Lecture Hall events. Advance meal ticketholders will have special entry to the cafeteria, but meals can also be purchased with credit card or cash at the cafeteria door. For information, please contact Pam Pollini at or call 570-577-1490.

For more information about the River Symposium, visit

Contact: Division of Communications


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