Saturday, Oct. 15

This Land Is Whose Land?

Saturday, October 15, 10:30 am–12:30 pm
Woody Guthrie Center

Sponsored by the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee, the AFS Local Planning Committee, the American Song Archives


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 come to be 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 who he saw as America’s most vulnerable, the question remains, just who is he speaking to? Whose Land Is This?

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 such as environmental justice and food sovereignty to state and federal governments and sacred sites.

Join us on Saturday October 15, 2022 for this discussion. Free and open to the public.