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Indian 101+

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Educational Immersion into Indigenous Peoples History & Experiences

Vance Blackfox, founder of Other+Wise and ELCA Director of Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations will be joining OSLC for a weekend of education, experiences, conversations, prayer, and worship. 

OCTOBER 21-23 

with Times on Friday evening, throughout the day Saturday, Sunday morning and afternoon.

See Schedule below

Please register for this event

This event is sponsored by the OSLC Endowment! 

Bio For Vance Blackfox: Vance Blackfox, an Indigenous Theologian and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is the founder and director of Other+Wise, a multi-site cultural education and cultural immersion program for youth and student groups from across the country. He serves the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as the Director of Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations. An alumnus of Texas Lutheran University (TLU) and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), Vance has served the ELCA in multiple capacities, from taking a post as National President of the Lutheran Youth Organization during his TLU days, to later working as a diversity and cultural education professional for the Women of the ELCA, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, California Lutheran University, ELCA Youth Gathering, and LSTC’s Youth in Mission. In addition to serving numerous ELCA and ecumenical teams and committees throughout the years, he is at present the Indigenous Theologian and Coordinating Team Member for the ELCA’s Theological Round Table, as well as creator and producer of the Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium hosted at LSTC. Vance has also served as the Director of Communications at the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, as the Director of Communications for Native Americans in Philanthropy, and has held executive director positions at the Haskell Foundation, which supports Haskell Indian Nations University, and the Oaks Indian Mission. Vance has served as the Guest Curator of the Indian Museum at the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures, and presently serves as the Indigenous Theologian for the Faith-Based Initiative for the City of San Antonio, where he currently resides.


6-8:00pm– Indian 101: The general population knows very little about the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island — even the most basic topics are often grand mysteries. This, of course, is by design, as the colonial project has prioritized the complete erasure of Native people for centuries. Indian 101 is a time to learn some of these basics and to cultivate a foundation for standing in solidarity with Indian people across the U.S.,  as we all work together to dismantle longstanding systems of oppression.


9:00am-  The Blanket Exercise

This immersive learning experience leads participants through 500+ years of Indigenous history, highlighting the relationship between the tribal nations and the European explorers, colonial setters, and U.S. federal and state governments.

The exercise is interactive and requires participants, as they are able, to stand and move throughout the first hour of the experience.  The second hour invites participants to process the experience and share what they learned and what they will take away.

The Blanket Exercise was first created in Canada and has been adapted for general populations there, in the United States, and around the world. The exercise engages participants both intellectually and emotionally and often affects individuals deeply.

Due to the honest nature of the information included in the narration of the exercise, all participants are expected to be 15 years of age or older for this session. 

1:00pm- Movements in Indian Country

There are countless challenges facing Indian Country today, and Native-serving organizations are constantly trying to keep up, while frontline Indigenous leaders, activists, and movements work to respond effectively. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), these movements are usually unknown to the general public because non-Indigenous people have never had to care about such issues. . And those who do care often don’t know where to begin learning and engaging. Movements in Indian Country provides a starting point for appropriately and productively supporting a wide range of justice efforts, in solidarity with Indigenous communities across the U.S.


Worship at 9 and 10:30- 

11:30 Lunch 


Mother Earth and Our Non-Human Relatives

Did you know that Indigenous peoples make up 5% of the world’s population but protect over 60% of its biodiversity? The love Indigenous peoples have for Mother Earth and all of creation  has been passed down for millennia through countless generations — as has a passion for protecting them.  Mother Earth and Our Non-Human Relatives delves into deep, ancestral knowledge to introduce new ways of understanding place, people (both human and non-human), and how we are all related.