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ASU professor to discuss wounds of genocide among American Indian communities.
Killsback among 8 ASU faculty to speak at Genocide Awareness Week event at SCC.
April 13, 2017

ASU expert to talk about 'Broken Treaties, Broken Pipelines' at Genocide Awareness Week at Scottsdale Community College

Genocide has been a thread through humanity, stretching back centuries and into modern times.

Several Arizona State University experts will talk about mass killings at "Genocide Awareness Week: Not On Our Watch" at Scottsdale Community College. The event runs April 17–24.

This will be Scottsdale Community College's fifth Genocide Awareness Week, which gathers survivors, scholars, politicians, activists, law enforcement and artists to delve into the history and ramifications when one group of people tries to destroy another.

Leo Killsback, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and an assistant professor of American Indian Studies at ASU, will give a lecture titled “Broken Treaties, Broken Pipelines: The Fight For American Indian and Indigenous Rights in the 21st Century.”

KillsbackKillsback culturally and spiritually identifies as a Cheyenne person as he is a practitioner of traditional ceremonies and a member of traditional Cheyenne ceremonial societies and guilds. He is an author, scholar and student of American Indian culture, history, spirituality, traditional law and decolonization. Killsback teaches a graduate course, American Indian and Indigenous Rights, and an undergraduate course, Human Rights and Cultural Resource Law. answered questions for ASU Now:

ASU Assistant Professor Leo Killsback

Leo Killsback is an assistant professor at ASU. Photo by Cheryl Bennett

Question: What will your lecture be about?

Answer: My lecture, as with my research, connects the historical injustices that the U.S. committed against Plains Indians with the current injustices related to social inequality, threats to American Indian sovereignty, and the fights to protect treaty rights and indigenous rights.

Q: How does your talk relate to the theme of genocide awareness?

A: Throughout the colonization of western Native America, the U.S. committed horrendous acts of genocide against Plains Indian peoples through violence and later through assimilation-based policies. Today, many of these same Indian nations continue to face social and spiritual challenges stemming from the unhealed wounds of trauma. Meanwhile, their lands, water sources and air are under constant threat from exploitation and pollution. For a lot of Plains Indian nations, the wars against imperialism never ended.

Q: Your talk is titled, “Broken Treaties, Broken Pipelines.” Do you believe that the recent attention on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests has changed attitudes towards Native Americans’ rights?

A: The attention of the Dakota Access Pipeline has certainly brought American Indian and indigenous rights to the forefront in a manner that the world has never seen before. I think that the attitudes of the non-Indian public towards American Indian and indigenous rights will continue to change for the better. Some people, however, in some parts of the country have become more aggressive in their negative treatment towards Indian peoples in response to the #NoDAPL movement. Nonetheless the movement is strong, resilient and will continue with peace and prayer as core principles.

Q: Did the protests renew enthusiasm among Natives themselves for pursuing justice?

A: American Indians have resisted colonialism and injustice for years, but the current movement has quickly become part of a much larger global community. The Standing Rock Sioux Nation, its citizens and the water protectors who defied the Dakota Access Pipeline represent a 500-year effort to protect Mother Earth.

Killsback will speak at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Other ASU experts and their lectures are:

  • “Violence and State Repression in the Midst of Refugee Crises,” by Thorin Wright, assistant professor, School of Politics and Global Studies, at 1:30 p.m. Monday
  • “Mass Atrocities and International Justice,” by Clint Williamson, former U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues and now a professor of practice in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and senior director for Law and National Security at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
  • “Genocide in the Renaissance: A New and Terrible World,” by Sharonah Frederick, assistant director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at ASU, 9 a.m. Wednesday.
  • “Genocide: Problems with Comparison,” by Volker Benkert, assistant professor of history, and Jason Bruner, assistant professor of religious studies, at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
  • “Building the Rule of War: Accountability after Violence,” by Milli Lake, assistant professor, School of Politics and Global Studies, at noon Wednesday.
  • “Anti-Jewish violence in Postwar Poland, 1945–46,” by Anna Cichopek-Gajraj, assistant professor of history, at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Genocide Awareness Week also will include a talk by a survivor of the Holocaust, lectures about the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, a presentation on current hate crimes by the Phoenix Police Department and a memorial service. Find details here.

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now

480-727-4503

 
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On a symbolic day, future nurses connect with homeless patients

April 13, 2017

ASU students run foot-care clinic on Maundy Thursday at Tempe church

A group of Arizona State University nursing students participated in a foot-care clinic for homeless people in Tempe on Thursday, gathering at Community Christian Church, just south of the campus, and setting up stations where they could wash, dry and tend to the feet of their clients, who were lined up by 7 a.m.

“This is part of the community aspect of nursing — outreach for the vulnerable populations,” according to Mara Scaramella, a clinical instructor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU.

The 14 ASU seniors all are in a community health class and have spent the semester working with people at Central Arizona Shelter Services; U.S. VETS, which provides services for veterans; and the Collaboratory on Central, a complex for poor, elderly and disabled people in downtown Phoenix. The foot-care clinic coincided with Maundy Thursday, which commemorates the day Christians believe Jesus washed the feet of his disciples in an act of humility.

“A lot of times the homeless are faceless, the people on the corner. But they’re just like, us and they have hopes and dreams and needs,” Scaramella said.

Foot care is important for homeless people because they walk so much.

“Many times their feet are damaged from wearing the wrong-sized shoes, not changing their socks or walking around with wet shoes, and we find it important on this symbolic day to take care of their feet,” Scaramella said.

ASU nursing student Samantha Amundsen said her training prepared her for this kind of outreach.

“Everything we do is learning how to connect with patients from all demographics and all walks of life. It’s rewarding for us because we get to connect with people we don’t usually get to connect with and learn about their stories while we’re seeing them,” she said.

After washing, the future nurses trimmed toenails, filed away callouses and dabbed ointment on sores.

Sue Ringler started the program several years ago when she was the instructor for the community health course at ASU. She also is a pastor and noted that many churches — and even the pope — perform symbolic foot washings on Holy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, which commemorates the Last Supper.

“I thought we should be washing feet that needed to be washed, not just symbolically,” said Ringler, who is pastor of Guardian Angels Catholic Community, which meets at Community Christian Church. The two congregations do service projects together.

“So it became a tradition to do this in a very real way. I still have students who contact me and tell me this was their favorite experience — having an opportunity to sit with folks and chat with them about their life.

“This kind of care is very intimate, but it gets them ready for that intimacy they’re going to have during their career.”

The church members and sporting-goods retailer REI donated nearly 150 pairs of shoes and 500 pairs of socks. After the foot care, every client got new shoes and socks and then had a hot breakfast.

Ringler said she sends fliers about the clinic to groups that work with homeless people. That’s how James Haller found out about it.

“My mom told me I needed to get my feet taken care of,” said Haller, who injured his foot several years ago. “With the steel plate in my foot, I have to make sure they’re comfortable.”

Nursing student David Vargas dried Haller’s toes, dabbed on some ointment and gently eased a new pair of black compression socks onto his feet.

“It feels awesome — relief,” said Haller. “Everything is a blessing that everyone does for us.”

“It’s a blessing for us also, James,” Vargas said.

 

Top photo: ASU nursing student Alexandra Melikian massages and applies lotion to the blistered feet of Aaron Wauneka, from Sawmill, Arizona, as she and other students volunteered their services at a foot-care clinic at Community Christian Church in Tempe on Thursday. Wauneka pushes his grandfather 18 miles each day in his wheelchair. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now

480-727-4503