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Community Leaders Slated To Lend Voices or Native American Heritage Month At Hudson Valley Community College

CONTACT: Lisa Roche (518) 629-8063 or Sarah Boggess (518) 629-8073
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, March 17, 2000

April marks the third and final month for "Voices: A Library Lecture Series" at Hudson Valley Community College. The 2000 Voices series – a three-month-long presentation of speakers and panels, entitled "In Pursuit of Civil Rights: The Struggle Continues" – is free of charge to students and the public. April will feature four events at the Hudson Valley campus, 80 Vandenbergh Avenue, Troy. The history, culture, achievements and struggles of Native American people will be examined.

"We are excited about the prospect of introducing our students, and the community at large, to some great Native American voices and stories," Hudson Valley President John Buono states.

A READING OF NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCE BY JOSEPH BRUCHAC, Abenaki Storyteller and Writer Tuesday, April 4th, noon to 1 p.m., Bulmer Telecommunications Center (BTC) Auditorium

Joseph Bruchac is a master storyteller and writer of Abenaki, English and Slovak ancestry. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University, his Master of Arts from Syracuse University, and his Ph.D. from Union College. Mr. Bruchac is the winner of an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship, the American Book Award, and the Cherokee Nation Prose Award.

"A LONG STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM: LEONARD PELTIER, SYMBOL FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS" Francie Gibbs-Trashen, Spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Solidarity Committee Wednesday, April 5th, noon to 1 p.m., BTC Auditorium

Francie Gibbs Trashen is an active member of the Leonard Peltier Solidarity Committee and is involved in the civil rights struggle of indigenous people. She is also active in environmental and animal rights issues. Ms. Gibbs-Trashen is the producer and co-host of the Public Affairs radio show, "Disruptions," on WRPI. She is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University at Albany, SUNY.

"MOHICAN INDIANS: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE" Mr. Stephen Comer, Enrolled Tribal Member Thursday, April 6th, noon to 1 p.m., BTC Auditorium

Stephen Comer is the only Enrolled Tribal Member living within the boundary of the original Mohican territory, (the Upper Hudson Valley, New York, and the Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts). Mr. Comer is a noted local speaker on Native American history in New York State.

"SMOKE SIGNALS" Monday, April 3rd and Friday, April 7th, noon to 3 p.m. Library Multi-Purpose Room

"Smoke Signals," the first full-length movie written, directed and produced by Native Americans, is based on a book by Sherman Alexie titled, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. It is a funny and moving story of a young man struggling to come to terms with his relationship with his father and also a realistic depiction of life on an Indian reservation.

The lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, please call 629-7337.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.