Saturday, October 15

This Land Is Whose Land?

Saturday, October 15, 10:30 am–12:30 pm
Woody Guthrie Center Theatre, 102 E. Reconciliation Way, Tulsa, OK 74103

  in-person session will be live streamed
  session will be recorded and available for later viewing online

Sponsored by the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee, the AFS Local Planning Committee, and the American Song Archives (Woody Guthrie Center and Bob Dylan Center)

Free and open to the public. There will be an overflow viewing room for the livestream of this session at the Zarrow Center, 124 E. Reconciliation Way Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103


Chair: Daniel C. Swan (University of Oklahoma, emeritus)

Ben Barnes (Chief, Shawnee Tribe)
Vicki Monks (Environmental Journalist, Chickasaw Nation)

In New York in 1940 Woody Guthrie first penned the words for what would become his most venerated song, “This Land is Your Land.” Nearly a century after it was written, the song remains active in the collective American consciousness, equally praised as it is debated. Though Guthrie, a white male folk hero, remained committed to excavating the plight of America’s most vulnerable, the question remains, just who is this song speaking to? Whose Land Is This Land? To further explore this question, the American Song Archives (Woody Guthrie Center® & Bob Dylan Center®) in collaboration with the American Folklore Society will host a paneled discussion titled “This Land Is Whose Land?”. Using Guthrie’s lyrics as a starting point, conversation will engage Native American leaders in topics relating to land and tribal sovereignty in the US and Oklahoma. Tracking present and historic Native lifeways panelists will provide an informed look into subjects from environmental justice and food sovereignty to state and federal governments and sacred sites.

Read this article by Gustavus Stadler published by Aljazeera to contextualize the discussion in this special forum.