Symposium Speakers

2019 Symposium Keynote Speaker Bios

Tara Houska, J.D. (Couchiching First Nation) – Sponsored by Oklahoma Humanties

Tara Houska is Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation. She is the National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, a tribal rights attorney, a co-founder of Not Your Mascots, and a Native American advisor to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Tara is involved in advocacy on a broad spectrum of issues facing indigenous communities with a focus on environmental justice, protection of sacred sites, and institutional racism. Her experience ranges from grassroots organizing to working for the White House Council on Environmental Quality and lobbying on Capitol Hill.

Erin Griffin. M.A.
(Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) – Sponsored by Oklahoma Humanities
Director of Dakota Studies, Sisseton Wahpeton College

Erin Griffin serves as a mentor in the Indigenous Visionaries fellowship program. An enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota from the Westerman family, Griffin is currently the Director of Dakota Studies at Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC) where she has worked since 2013. With a master of arts degree in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Oklahoma, Griffin has used her lifelong interest in traditional arts, language, and history to transform the Dakota Studies Department at SWC with the establishment of extensive new programming, including the Traditional Dakota Arts workshop series, the SWC Archives, the Dakota Studies and Tribal Arts Center, the Dakota Language teaching certificate, and the Voices of Our Ancestors Dakota Language immersion program. Griffin is an established beadwork and quillwork artist.


Mary Jo Tippeconnic Fox, Ph.D (Comanche/Cherokee)
Research Professor, The University of Arizona

Dr. Fox is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, Research Professor of American Indian Studies (AIS), and affiliate faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona (UA). At UA, she is the former Head of American Indian Studies, Associate Head of AIS, Assistant Vice-President for Minority Affairs, and Associate to the President for American Indian Affairs. Her scholarly activities are focused on historical and contemporary Native American women’s issues, American Indian Studies, and American Indian education with an emphasis on higher education.

2019 Symposium Speaker Bios

Coming Soon!