My Arizona Lecture - Dr. Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Dr. Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

The School of Geography, Development and Environment, the Department of American Indian Studies, and the Southwest Center present the 13th Annual My Arizona Lecture

All Native Voices Matter: Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic From the Field of American Indian Studies

Dr. Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert
Professor and Head, Department of American Indian Studies
University of Arizona

Abstract: Hopi historian and Head of the Department of American Indian Studies Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert examines the way University of Arizona campus administration has approached the COVID-19 situation from a Western scientific perspective, making clear its strong desire to mandate that all faculty, staff, and students receive the COVID-19 vaccine. He argues that this approach does not take into account or give room for an appropriate Native response to the vaccine based on an individual's cultural or spiritual beliefs. Nor does it consider the long and painful history that Native people have endured as a result of the federal government's mandatory inoculations, forced sterilizations, and the racism and discrimination directed toward Natives under the guise of "public health.” Challenging and pushing back against forms of white paternalism that undermine and threaten Native agency and self-determination, Gilbert instead offers a positive path forward involving mutual respect, human decency, and a commitment to valuing and taking seriously all Native voices at the University of Arizona. 


Please email Amanda Percy for Zoom link


3:30 p.m. Oct. 29, 2021

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