posted November 6, 2002

Event Examines Native American Culture

The "Dialogue on Race" series at Hope College will examine Native American culture through a documentary film and audience discussion on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The event is being presented in conjunction with national Native American History Month, which is November.

The evening will feature the biography "On and Off the Res' with Charlie Hill." The one-hour documentary follows the life of Hill, who is a Native American comedian. More broadly, the program provides a humorous and light- hearted look at stereotypes that Native Americans still endure.

"My purpose in doing this film was to aim directly at counteracting the 'stoic' Indian image, which has cemented us for centuries," wrote producer director Sandra Osawa, who is also a Native American, in a statement of purpose.

"My interest in humor stems directly from my experiences of having lived in both the urban and reservation worlds," she noted. "As a younger person, I remember I much preferred the reservation because everyone was always so happy and there was always a lot of joking going on between family members. Since we don't often see contemporary portraits of Indians, I also wanted to wrap the issues of humor around a particular person, so that we come to know and understand a person as well as learn a bit more about humor and what it has to teach us."

A reception will follow the event, which is sponsored by the college's Office of Multicultural Life. The Maas Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.