Pathways to Respecting American Indian Civil Rights Conference Educates

Published: Oct. 21, 2014

Conference attendees listening to the keynote speaker, Billy Mills (Makata Taka Hela).

Keynote speaker Billy Mills (Makata Taka Hela) addresses a crowd in the King Center.

Co-sponsored by the CLAS Continuing and Professional Education Office, the American Indians Pathways Taskforce hosted a training and education conference to promote the civil rights of American Indians on the Auraria Campus July 14-15. Workshops and speakers allowed participants the chance to learn about issues surrounding health care, employment, education, environmental justice, nutrition, hate crimes, the loss of culture, and violence against Native women.

The goal of the conference was to provide participants with answers to a wide range of questions in the Native American community, under an umbrella of cultural comfort. The keynote address was given by Billy Mills (aka Makata Taka Hela) an Oglala Lakota, US Marine, and Olympic gold medalist. Inducted into the US National Track & Field Hall of Fame, the US Olympic Hall of Fame, and the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, Mills was the subject in the film Running Brave. Mills serves as the spokesperson for Running Strong for American Indian Youth, and was awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal and the Theodore Roosevelt Award in 2014.