September 20, 2006
Oct. 3: Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to speak
Director of the National Museum of the American Indian to speak
W. Richard West, Jr. will lecture at the University of Oregon on the Native American cultural experience. He is the director of the National Museum of the American Indian, the most recent addition to the Smithsonian museums on the Washington D.C. Mall.
The free public lecture, “Native America in the 21st Century: Out of the Mists and Beyond Myth,” will take place at 7:00 P.M on Tuesday, October 3 in the auditorium (Room 175) of the Knight Law Center at 15th Avenue and Agate Street in Eugene.
West’s lecture will explore the complexity, breadth, and depth of the Native American cultural experience before European contact to the present.
In a 2005 interview in American Indian Quarterly, West said “The museum is about living cultures, [we] assumed from the very beginning that we were talking about an immense time span . . .from the far distant past through the present and into the future. There are thirty to forty million Indigenous people in this hemisphere. The museum had to be about them too, not just our ancestors or ancient cultural patrimony.”
West is a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a peace chief of the Southern Cheyenne.
He is also an attorney who has devoted his professional life to working with American Indians on cultural, educational, legal, and governmental issues.
West is the 26th occupant of the Wayne Morse Chair of Law and
Politics and is co-teaching a class with law professor Rennard Strickland on “Native American Cultural Rights and IntellectualProperty.”
Mary Beth West, a distinguished international
environmental lawyer, accompanied her husband
to Eugene. Although her visit is a private one,
she has been working with Ocean and Coastal Law Center director Richard Hildreth and lectured to the law faculty in September on
“Lawyers as Problem Solvers in a Globalized World.
Mary Beth West has negotiated a number of
agreements on fisheries and international trade.
She retired from the U.S. State Department in 2005 after holding a series of high level positions at the rank of ambassador, including deputy assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries. West lectures and publishes on ocean law, alternative dispute resolution, Indian law and international law.