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Charlotte Coté to Present 16th annual Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture

Submitted by Kai Wise on February 13, 2020 - 2:32pm
Professor Charlotte Cote
Professor Charlotte Cote

Charlotte Coté, associate professor in the Department of American Indian Studies, will present the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity’s (OMA&D) 16th annual Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture, Thurs., March 12, 2020, at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House.

Held in conjunction with the five-year anniversary of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ, the event will feature Cote’s lecture titled “‘Indigenizing’ the University of Washington: Lessons from the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House.” The lecture will be followed by a special panel discussion reflecting on the first five years of the longhouse.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., and the lecture will be held at 6:30 p.m. The event is free, but registration is requested here.

On March 12, 2015, wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House opened its doors, creating an Indigenous intellectual and cultural space at the University of Washington. Coté, who served as the chair of the Intellectual House Advisory Committee, is an Indigenous food studies scholar born and raised in her Nuu-chah-nulth community. In her lecture, she will discuss how the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ is connected to Indigenous decolonization by making Indigenous scholars and scholarship visible, and making the campus accessible to the larger Indigenous community.

Coté has dedicated her personal and academic life to creating awareness around Indigenous health and wellness issues, taking an active role in working with Indigenous peoples and communities to address health disparities through the revitalization of traditional foodways and ancestral ecological knowledge. She is the author of numerous publications including “Spirits of Our Whaling Ancestors. Revitalizing Makah and Nuu-chah-nulth Traditions,” which raises issues concerning Indigenous self-determination, eco-colonialism and food sovereignty.

Coté is the recipient of numerous awards including the Na’ah Illahee Fund’s Spirit of Indigenous Leadership Award, Women of Color Empowered: Future Builder’s Award, UC Berkeley’s President’s Research Fellowship Award and the Canada-US Fulbright Fellowship. She is the founder and chair of the UW’s “The Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Indigenous Foods Symposium,” and serves on the boards of the Seattle-based Native-led nonprofit organizations Potlatch Fund and Na’ah Illahee Fund.

Established in 2005 and named in honor of the first vice president for OMA&D, Samuel E. Kelly, this lecture series acknowledges the work of faculty whose nationally-recognized research focuses on diversity and social justice. Kelly was an educational advocate who opened doors for hundreds of underrepresented students at the UW. Many of the programs and services he established during his six-year tenure still exist today. Kelly passed away on July 6, 2009.

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