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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Speaker talks native tribe issues

Jefferson Keel
Jefferson Keel

By Natalie Phetsamone/reporter

Jefferson Keel
Jefferson Keel

As part of Nataive American Heritage Month, a Native American leader will present Tribal Nations Today: Educating the Broader Community on NE Campus Nov. 18.

Jefferson Keel, lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation and president of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, will discuss issues and initiatives that relate to the Native American community.

Event organizer, academic advisor and Comanche Nation member Marjeanna Burge said Keel is very busy in November, spending only two days outside of D.C.

“As a Native American person, I know that very few people in this country know very much about the problems [facing] Native American people,” she said.

Burge said she wants to increase the general public’s awareness of Native Americans.

“One thing that concerns me is the information not getting out there, the elusiveness about Native Americans,” she said. “Some people think that we are not alive anymore.”

She once encountered a 16-year-old boy who was shocked to discover her status as a Native American.

“I didn’t know there were any Indians alive today!” he told her.

Burge interned with Keel at the NCAI when he was vice president. Ever since, she has wanted him to visit TCC to share his knowledge as a member of the NCAI and Chickasaw Nation, one of the largest Indian nations.

His presentation will be 12:30-1:50 p.m. in Center Corner (NSTU 1615A).

Guests are required to register at http://tccdne.volunteerhub.com for the NE Campus presentation as lunch will be provided.

“I am very honored that Lt. Gov. Keel is coming here to speak at TCC,” Burge said. “He is a very highly esteemed elder in the Native community and a truly humble man that quickly refused to take any fee from me for him to come here to speak, a true example of the Native spirit.”

The event is sponsored by the TCC Circle of Nations Club and student activities.

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