Cedric Sunray

Cedric Sunray (enrolled member of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians) has been a teacher for many years at the pre-K, elementary, middle high school, high school, and collegiate levels.  His teaching has taken place in public, private, and Indian reservation schools and in group homes and juvenile detention centers throughout the United States and Canada.  He is the husband of Kiowa tribal member Randi 

Sunray and father of four children (niigan, Tdohasan, Kowi, and Onde).  Cedric was born in Canada and raised on the island of Key West, Florida.  He lost his father as a youth due to his dad’s involvement in the drug trade prevalent in the Florida Keys and Miami during the 1970s and 1980s.  The life lessons he learned through this experience, the diversity of the places where he has lived and worked over the years, as well as being a mixed-race/culture individual, has provided him with a unique insight into the meanings of community, family, education, and responsibility.   His favorite quote is by Dominican-American author Junos Dias, “You can contain multitudes.”  His educational background includes holding a Bachelor of Indigenous Studies from Trent University in Ontario, Canada, a Master of Indigenous Studies from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Legal Studies in Indigenous Peoples Law from the University of Oklahoma.  He also formerly attended Haskell Indian Nations University.  His articles ranging on a variety of issues impacting Indian Country can be found regularly at state and national level media sites and newspapers, as well as in academic journals/publications.     

Outside of the professional sphere, Cedric continues to work on behalf of Native people. Here's what he has to say. "I have dedicated my life to assisting and standing up for historic "non-federal" tribes across the country with a primary focus on those living in the Eastern and Southern regions of the United States. I play close attention to those "non-federal" tribes who generationally attended the federal and closely related mission Indian boarding school systems. We have a rather large website up at www.helphaskell.com which shows tons of yearbook pictures, BIA correspondence, lists of attendees, interviews with former attendees, etc. on the site. This information has been presented at more conferences and universities, as well as at the Department of the Interior, more times than I would like to remember over the years. Even so, Indian Country falls back on the status quo idea as "federal Indian as only ‘real’ Indian." How very unfortunate that the age of Internet has given voice to nameless people who spend their lives identity-policing others, when the reality for their policing is almost always their own personal Indian identity shortcomings and insecurities. But the fight continues."


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Local Events

American Indian Cultural Festival
Sunday, September 16 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Celebration of the art, dance, and music of American Indians from regions across the country
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak St., Kansas City, MO
Events are free and open to the public

Visiting Lecture and Discussion: "Following the Pathways of my Ancestors: Living Ancestral Geographies in Aotearoa, New Zealand"
Dr. Naomi Simmonds, lecturer with the Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies, and senior researcher with Te Kotahi Research Institute, at the University of Waikato
Monday, September 17 | Noon-1 p.m.
Parker Hall 110, Haskell Indian Nations University
Open to students, faculty and staff

Natives @ KU Kickoff
Tuesday, September 18 | 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Rice Room, 5th floor of Green Hall (Law School)
University of Kansas
Free taco bar; RSVP to nfsc@ku.edu by September 4
Open to all Native KU faculty, staff and students

"Rhetorical Practices in Indigenous Museums"
Skype Q&A with Dr. Lisa King, assistant professor at the University of Tennessee
Wednesday, September 19 | 3 p.m.
Kansas Room, Kansas Union
University of Kansas
Free and open to all KU and Haskell faculty, staff and students
Sponsored by the Museum Studies Program

"Warrior Women" Film Screening & Q&A with director/producer Elizabeth Castle and activist Madonna Thunder Hawk
Part of the Free State Festival
Wednesday, September 19 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Lawrence Arts Center
940 New Hampshire St., Lawrence, KS
Tickets are $8

Visiting Lecture and Discussion: "Setting a Tribal Research Agenda"
Prof. Ed Galindo, faculty member at the University of Idaho and associate director for education and diversity for the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium
Thursday, September 20 | 7 p.m.-8 p.m.
Burge Union Forum AB, University of Kansas
Open to students, faculty and staff

Keeping Legends Alive
Friday and Saturday, September 21-22
Celebration of the dedication of the U.S.'s first WWI memorial, Haskell Stadium and Memorial Arch, dedicated in 1926
The weekend's activities will include a powwow, educational workshops, campus tours, children's activities, a family fun run, and much more.
Haskell Indian Nations University
155 Indian Ave., Lawrence, KS
Free and open to the public
Volunteers needed! Sign up to volunteer on Saturday, September 22

"Mankiller" Film Screening and Q&A with filmmaker Valerie Red-Horse
Part of the Free State Festival
Friday, September 21 | 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Haskell Indian Nations University Auditorium
155 Indian Ave., Lawrence, KS
Free and open to the public

"Peacemaking in Indian Country" with Prof. Shawn Watts
Monday, October 8 | Noon-1 p.m.
Big XII Room, Kansas Union
University of Kansas
Light refreshments provided
Open to all faculty, staff and students
Sponsored by the KU Office of the Provost

Indigenous Peoples Day Conference: "Indigenous Female Leadership: Disrupting dominant discourses"
Monday, October 8 | 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Kansas State Student Union
918 N. 17th St.
Manhattan, KS
Features keynotes by Elizabeth Kronk Warner, J.D., KU Law; Dr. Robin Zape-Tah-Hol-Ah Minthorn, University of New Mexico; Dr. Maggie Walter, University of Tasmania and Oz to Oz Fulbright Scholar; and screening and discussion of Warrior Women
Free, but registration required. Livestreaming available.

Haskell Fall Welcome Back Powwow
Saturday, October 13 | Grand entry 6 p.m.
Haskell Indian Nations University Powwow Grounds
155 Indian Ave., Lawrence, KS
Open to the public

Watch Party: Episode 1 of Native America, "From Caves to Cosmos"
PBS documentary series
Tuesday, October 23 | 8 p.m.-9 p.m.
Traditions Area, main lobby of the Kansas Union
University of Kansas
Free

Watch Party: Episode 2 of Native America, "Nature to Nations"
PBS documentary series
Tuesday, October 30 | 8 p.m.-9 p.m.
Traditions Area, main lobby of the Kansas Union
University of Kansas
Free

Watch Party: Episodes 3 and 4 of Native America, "Cities of the Sky" and "New World Rising"
PBS documentary series
Tuesday, November 13 | 8 p.m.-10 p.m.
Traditions Area, main lobby of the Kansas Union
University of Kansas
Free

Honoring Our Warriors Powwow
Saturday, November 17 | Grand entries at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Coffin Sports Complex, Haskell Indian Nations University
155 Indian Ave., Lawrence, KS
Open to the public

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