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An Evening of Peace: Honoring Native Americans' Cultures, History and Presence


BINGHAMTON, NY – A group of five Binghamton University undergraduate students with varying majors are traveling to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota over the upcoming spring break, under the direction of Professor of Bioengineering George Catalano.

In support of the journey to Pine Ridge, "An Evening of Peace: Honoring Native Americans’ Cultures, History and Presence" will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 7, in the Mandela Room of the University Union on the Binghamton University campus. The event is open to students, faculty and staff as well as to the general public. The evening will feature a presentation by Freida J. Jacques, a Clanmother from the Onondaga Nation, who has been a leader in her nation for over 30 years and who is passionate about peace and healing. In addition, local artist Thea Whirlwindhorse, a member of the Oglala Lakota nation, will have examples of her work on display. Music will be provided by Jory Nash, a Canadian singer and songwriter passionate about promoting peace and Dan Hill, a flute player from the Cayuga Nation.

The trip to Pine Ridge will take place April 12 through April 18. Students majoring in bioengineering as well as social work, nursing, biology and women’s studies will journey to Pine Ridge with two main goals. First, the group will participate in a series of service projects designed and developed by Re-member, a non-profit organization on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation which seeks to improve the quality of reservation life through relationships, shared resources and volunteer services.

The trip will also serve as a fact-finding visit to identify senior design capstone projects for senior engineering majors to pursue next year. All engineering students are required to successfully complete a senior-year design project. Several of next year’s projects will be selected from those identified in Pine Ridge, allowing several students to participate in the identification and development of design projects linked to energy and environmental issues on the reservation from the outset, enriching their complete educational experience.

The non-engineering majors participating in the trip are doing so as part of the new Community of Peace initiative that has been implemented in the Apartment Communities residential community at Binghamton University. Within this initiative, and with the support of the University’s Residential Life staff, students are challenged to become active agents of peace and leaders promoting peace among all residents of the residential community, the campus and beyond.

Support for the development of this effort comes from both the 2013-2014 Iberdrola USA Foundation Grants and the Binghamton University Office of the Provost and Division of Student Affairs.

For more information, contact George Catalano at

Last Updated: 9/17/13