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Washita Symposium

Washita Symposium Planned November 17 at SWOSU

Southwestern Oklahoma State University is hosting a Washita Symposium on Saturday, November 17, on the Weatherford campus.

Everyone is invited to various activities in honor of the 150th sesquicentennial anniversary of the Washita attack on November 27, 1868, near present-day Cheyenne (OK). Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry attacked the sleeping village of Cheyenne Peace Chief Black Kettle, killing an estimated 60 people along the banks of the Washita River.

SWOSU and the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site are sponsoring the November 17 activities.

The day starts at 1 p.m. with the dedication of Mann Hall, a newly remodeled residence hall honoring Dr. Henrietta Mann, former president of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal College and lifelong proponent of Native American education.

The Washita Symposium starts at 2 p.m. in the Stafford Center and will be a collaborative discussion regarding the history, perspectives and cultural significance of November 27, 1868. Among the speakers are Tucker Blythe, superintendent of the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site; Dr. Mann; Oklahoma Poet Laureate Nominee Dorothy Alexander; and a question/answer session led by SWOSU Associate Professor Dr. Sunu Kodumthara.

A dinner is at 5 p.m. and will feature speaker Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Opening comments will be by Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes Governor Reggie Wassana and SWOSU President Randy Beutler.

The evening will conclude with a 7 p.m. concert by the All High School Senior Honor Band. Guest conductor will be Dr. Gary Gackstatter and one of the pieces on the program will be an original composition entitled Washita.

Events are free except for the dinner. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased at: