June 14, 2018

Native American Cultural Symposium to be held June 15th-16th

2018 Native American Cultural Symposium

The Museum of Native American History in Bentonville, Arkansas presents the second annual Native American Cultural Symposium to be held June 15th-16th, 2018.

​From Press Release:
This Symposium will bring together an array of Native cultural leaders for a weekend of performances, presentations, and workshops. MONAH (Museum of Native American History) seeks to renew the connection between the historical traditions presented in its permanent collection and modern Native peoples. By utilizing community and museum spaces, visitors and presenters alike will be invited into opportunities to cultivate understanding, respect, and an increased awareness of cultural context by exploring Native art, theatre, music, writing, cuisine, and film.

MONAH will host a number of free events throughout the Bentonville community during the weekend of the Symposium and joins hands with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art​ to begin the events. 

Crystal Bridges 
Crystal Bridges will host a film showing of Sundance World Cinema Documentary Jury Award winner Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World. MONAH’s Symposium featured presenters will also participate in musical, artistic, and storytelling performances at the daytime Garden Party and evening Forest Concert Series hosted by Crystal Bridges on Saturday. A complimentary shuttle service will offer transportation until 5:30 PM on Friday and Saturday to connect the downtown Bentonville square with activities hosted by Crystal Bridges and the schedule of events at MONAH.

Record-Downtown Bentonville 
The Record Downtown ​venue in Bentonville will also host Symposium events on Friday, June 15, featuring keynote speaker Walter Echo-Hawk, an award-winning author, attorney, and indigenous rights advocate with a decades-long career. Echo-Hawk will join the Symposium panel discussion with the other featured presenters, including seventeen-year-old environmental activist and musician Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, storyteller Gayle Ross, author Joseph Marshall III, artist Bunky Echo-Hawk (son of Walter Echo-Hawk), The Voice finalist Brooke Simpson, and Word Sender award winner Bobby Bridger. The evening will conclude with performances from Brooke Simpson and Bobby Bridger. The convenient location of Record Downtown also allows visitors to explore the community and enjoy dining and shopping around the Bentonville square.

Museum of Native American History
In partnership with Fulcrum Press, the Museum of Native American History ​itself will be home to a variety of workshops and talks held in the Great Room throughout the weekend. These events, among others, include a writer’s guide to the publishing industry, an exploration of traditional storytelling skills, and a demonstration of the Lakota bow and arrow. A prairie-to-table dining experience at the museum will conclude the Symposium, with proceeds benefiting the Seneca Black Elk Mathews Scholarship Fund for Native youth attending Oklahoma State University.

Brought to you by these sponsors:

Here is a list of incoming speakers and performers:

Walter Echo-Hawk
Keynote Speaker
Walter Echo-Hawk is an Author, attorney and legal scholar.   He authored In The Light Of Justice (2013), In the Courts of the Conqueror (2010), and Battlefields and Burial Grounds (1994). His new book, The Sea of Grass , will be released in June of 2018. He is a Pawnee Indian with a B.A., Political Science, Oklahoma St. Univ. (1970), and JD, UNM (1973)

Bunky Echo-Hawk
Featured Presenter

Bunky Echo-Hawk is a multi-talented artist whose work spans both media and lifestyle. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, he is a fine artist, graphic designer, photographer, writer, and non-profit professional. He is also a traditional singer and dancer.

Brooke Simpson
Featured Presenter

From recording her first song at the age of two to her time as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice , Brooke Simpson is no stranger to music. A member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe and a powerhouse vocalist passionate about songwriting and people. With a large and ever-growing fan base, Brooke is touring, writing, recording, and has released her debut single, "2AM," which charted on the iTunes pop charts.

Bobby Bridger
Featured Presenter

Bobby Bridger is an author, musician and winner of the John Neihardt Award, as well as a co-creator of the Symposium.  Bridger has performed all over America and Europe. He is also the author of the award-winning books "Buffalo Bill" and "Sitting Bull:  Inventing the Wild West" and "A Ballad of the West".   

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
Featured Presenter 

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (first name pronounced ‘Shoe-Tez-Caht’) is a 18-year-old Indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, author, and Earth Guardians Youth Director, an organization with involvement in over 30 countries.  In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the 2013 United States Community Service Award from President Obama and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President's youth council. He is the recipient of the 2015 Peace First Prize, the 2015 Nickelodeon Halo Award, the 2016 Captain Planet Award, the 2016 Children's Climate Prize from Sweden, and the 2017 Univision Premio’s Ajente de Cambio Award.

Joseph Marshall III
Featured Presenter

Joseph Marshall III is the Celebrated Rosebud Lakota author of "The Journey of Crazy Horse:  The Lakota History", "Walking with Elders: The Wisdom of Lakota Grandfathers" and twelve other books. He also worked as a technical advisor and narrator for the TNT and Dreamworks Television six-part mini-series "Into the West"  and played the on-screen role of "Loved by the Buffalo" a Lakota medicine man. 

Gayle Ross
Featured Presenter

Gayle Ross is an internationally renowned storyteller and a direct descendant of legendary Cherokee Chief John Ross.  She has appeared at almost every major storytelling and folk festival in the United States and Canada. Gayle is also the author of five critically acclaimed children's books.  She was recently featured in ground-breaking American Experience series "We Shall Remain" in the Trail of Tears episode.  

Sam Scinta
Featured Presenter

Sam Scinta is the former publisher and consulting editor of the Fulcrum Publishing.  Sam founded IM Education, Inc., a non-profit focusing on education programming. He is the creator of Fulcrum's best-selling Speaker's Corner Books series on contemporary political and social issues.  

Mary Kathryn Nagle
Featured Presenter

Mary Kathryn Nagle has successfully pursued two careers, both as a lawyer and a nationally recognized playwright. She was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and an honorary member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. Her featured play, Crossing Mnisose draws a line from a completely original view of Lewis and Clark's historic encampment at Fort Mandan to the present day, as descendants of the Dakota and Lakota Nations continue their fight to ensure that the Mnisose, and the lands that contain the burials of their ancestors, are preserved for future generations.

Madeline Sayet
Featured Presenter

Madeline Sayet is a director of new plays, classics and opera who believes the stories we pass down inform our collective possible futures. She was named to Forbes’ 2018 30 Under 30 List in Hollywood & Entertainment, is a TED Fellow, a MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, and a National Directing Fellow. A member of the Mohegan nation, she was the Resident Director at Amerinda (American Indian Artists) Inc. in New York from 2013-2016 where she developed new plays by Native playwrights and launched the Native American Shakespeare Ensemble.  

John Inmon
Featured Performer

As a founding member of the legendary Lost Gonzo Band, his peers know John as one of the finest guitarist in Austin, Texas, and his fans know him as the signature guitar style that has at one time or another propelled the music of Jerry Jeff Walker, Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Delbert McClinton, Jimmy La Fave, Eliza Gilkyson, Marcia Ball, Omar and the Howlers, Bruce Robinson, Pat Green, Michael Martin Murphy, Keith Skyes, Larry Joe Taylor, Bobby Bridger and many more. As winner of the Texas Music Awards’ coveted "Producer of the Year"award in 2012, John has become a sought-after producer, producing records for artists nationwide.

Native American Cultural Symposium  

June 15th-17th, 2018

For more information go to 


Proud Media Sponsor of the
Native American Cultural Symposium!