Oklahoma State will host the BBC World Service at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 11 for a panel discussion to look at how much and why things are changing for Native Americans in Oklahoma. By exercising their tribal sovereignty, according to the BBC, Oklahoma’s tribes have become economic powerhouses, contributing hugely to the state economy. The event, which is free to the public, will be held in the Student Union Theater on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Elizabeth Payne is the director of the OSU Center for Sovereign Nations and will serve as one of five panelists.
“We are excited and honored that the BBC chose Oklahoma State to hold such an important discussion on a topic that is of such importance to Oklahoma’s past, present and future,” Payne said. “This is a great opportunity to highlight Oklahoma’s rich Native American history and culture to a world-wide audience.”
The other four panelists include Neal McCaleb, Ambassador-at-Large, Chickasaw Nation; Sarah Adams-Cornell, advocate for Native American culture, education and rights and a core member of Idle No More Central Oklahoma and board member of Not Your Mascots; Allison Herrera, producer of Invisible Nations, a project exploring modern Native culture in Oklahoma on KOSU and Taiawagi Helton, professor of law, University of Oklahoma.
Some of the questions the BBC will explore are: Is Oklahoma as much of a success story as it seems? How far does tribal sovereignty extend? Has the political influence of Native Americans and the treatment of their culture changed in line with growing economic success? Are there valuable lessons to be learned from Oklahoma for indigenous peoples in the rest of the United States and around the world?
The panel will be led by the BBC’s award-winning broadcaster Owen Bennett Jones and will be part of a special edition of ’Newshour Extra’ on BBC World Service Radio.