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FIU Indigenous People’s Week events to include Miss Florida Seminole

Miss Florida Seminole Durante Blais-Billie, second from right, is scheduled to be among the participants in Florida International University’s Indigenous People’s Week events. (Courtesy photo)

The Global Indigenous Forum at Florida International University will celebrate Indigenous People’s Week with two virtual events Oct. 12 and Oct. 14, both to be held on the Zoom platform.

“Our Talk, Our Land: Indigenous Languages, Identities and Social Justice,” will be held Oct. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. Hosted by the Rev. Houston Cypress, Miccosukee, the event will include Indigenous scholars, artists and activists who will address how the struggles for Native land rights relate to the effort to maintain native languages.

Featured speakers include Durante Blais-Billie, Miss Florida Seminole 2019-2021, Althea Frye and Betty Osceola, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, Maria-Luisa Veisaga, FIU, Shinako Oyakawa, Association of Comprehensive Studies for Independence of the Lew Chewans, Margaret Noodin, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Yina Hurtado and Jose Hurtado, Kuyayky Foundation.

The event is open to the public via Zoom at https://go.fiu.edu/94803881046

A screening of the film “Ainu My Voice” will be held Oct. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. A short clip on the Ainu people and traditions will also be shown. The 45-minute film is about a modern Ainu woman and her attempts to find a balance between modern Japanese life and Ainu traditional practices. There will be an hour long post screening discussion with Masako Kubota, Asian Studies, and Durante Blais-Billie, Miss Florida Seminole 2019-2021. Blais-Billie will focus on an Ainu delegation’s visit to the Seminole Tribe’s Big Cypress reservation.

The event is open to the public at this Zoom link:

https://fiu.zoom.us/j/96259885424.

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