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“More Than a Word” film screening and panel discussed issues facing Native American communities

Panelists pose for a photo at the "More Than a Word" panel discussion. From left to right: Andre Fields, Dillon Carr, Belinda Bardwell and Lynn LaPointe. (Matthew Scheidel/The Collegiate)

By Matthew Scheidel

The Grand Rapids Community College Native American Student Organization hosted the “More Than a Word,” screening and panel discussion at the Applied Technology Center auditorium on Thursday night.

Approximately 50 people gathered at the ATC auditorium to watch “More Than a Word,” a documentary about the Washington Redskins and the controversy surrounding their team name and logo. This was followed by a panel discussion about the impact of using Native Americans’ likenesses and tribe names as team logos, as well as other issues.  

NASO President Drewyn Talley was pleased with the event, especially with the turnout.

“It is my understanding that there are sometimes all of five people in this auditorium,” Talley said. “So I’m really happy, especially with the panelists. I thought they did an awesome job, and I think we got the right people here to have this discussion.”

The panelists included Community/Cultural Consultant for the Michigan Department of Education Lynn LaPointe, GRCC Anthropology Professor Dillon Carr, Grand Valley State University Native American Council member Belinda Bardwell and GRCC Instructor and Counselor Andre Fields.

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