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Native American student conference returns to OSU

Friday, March 2, 2007

by Abby Wambaugh

The Big 12 American Indian Student Leadership Conference will return this year to the university where it began. Renamed the American Indian Student Leadership Conference, it will be held March 28-30 at Oklahoma State University and will be presented as a gathering for American Indian students nationwide.

“Last year, in an effort to expand the conference to a national level the conference committee at Creighton University decided to change the name,” said Jessica Moore, president of OSU’s Native American Student Association. “We wanted to continue their effort in opening the conference up to all schools, regardless of size, conference and tribal affiliation.”

The conference was founded at OSU in 1998 by members of the university’s Native American Student Association as a forum for students throughout the Big 12 and to promote American Indian leadership development. 

 “This conference is an opportunity for students to connect with other American Indian students, network, gain leadership training and see what other students have accomplished,” Moore said.

 This year’s conference is titled, “Warriors of the New World: Fighting to Promote American Indian Student Leadership,” and will focus on the importance of leadership on- and off-campus and in the community.  

“I would say that all students are on the path of becoming great leaders if they choose to do so. By attending this conference, students are saying they want to be a leader,” Moore said. “What they learn here, will be a step toward their future.

“Who they meet, the connections they make will create strong relationships that will be rewarding throughout the rest of their lives,” she said.

A number of different workshops will be held each day, allowing those in attendance to choose what best suits their academic and personal interests. Speakers at the conference will include American Indian scholars, professionals, and motivational speakers.

Conference presenters already on the schedule include keynote speaker Chief Chad Smith of the Cherokee Nation, Cara Cowan-Watts of the Cherokee Nation who will head a workshop on leadership in Native country and Terry Mason Moore of the Osage Nation who will present a workshop on Native Americans in law.

The conference welcomed high school students last year but will be limited to college students this year.

“There is a big gap in issues that college and high school students face,” said Casey Bear, OSU NASA vice president. “We wanted to bring the focus back on the college students this year.”

The deadline to register for the conference is March 9. For registration packets or more information, contact Moore at (405) 880-7264 or

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