Photo of Don Ivy, Tribal Elder in ResidenceUO to host Coquille Tribe member Don Ivy as first Tribal
Elder in Residence


The Office of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion will host Don Ivy as the first Tribal Elder in Residence in its inaugural Traditional Scholars Program Feb. 19-20.

The Traditional Scholars program is meant to share the wisdom of Elders (repositories and transmitters of knowledge and wisdom) from Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes, as well as other communities in the state of Oregon, with the UO campus and broader community. Ivy’s visit is geared toward enhancing the community’s understanding and knowledge of Native traditions. 

Ivy, recently retired Cultural Resources Program Coordinator and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Coquille Tribe, will meet with President Gottfredson’s Executive Leadership Team, lecture in classes, meet with students, faculty and staff and give two public addresses while here.

His first address, “Native Activism, Law and Land Issues,” co-moderated by Dr. Madonna Moss (Anthropology) and Dr. Brian Klopotek (Ethnic Studies), will be from 5:30 to 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 19 in Rm. 175 Knight Law.

Ivy’s talk will focus on the concept of convergence, specifically between Native and non-Native law.

“There are two distinct aspects of Indian Country — how things are perceived to be by those who are not of it and how things are for those who are of it — or for some reason find themselves in it,” said Ivy.

Ivy has worked to bring those two aspects of Indian Country to places of convergence, where, he said, “Each could be appreciated and respected, even if not completely understood, one to the other.”

Mr. Ivy’s second address specifically addresses that theme, with the talk, “Convergence: Parting Counsel from our Elder,” during his farewell potluck and honoring ceremony from 6:30 to 8 pm on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Many Nations Longhouse, 1630 Columbia St.

Both talks are free and open to the public.

Ivy will also guest lecture in environmental studies, ethnic studies and landscape architecture courses on topics ranging from land and historic preservation to political theory and food systems.

Ivy, a longtime expert on Tribal historic preservation and on the archeology and history of southern Oregon, served as Vice-Chair of the Oregon Heritage Commission, and in spring 2013 received an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award.

As Coquille Tribe Cultural Resources Program Coordinator, Ivy said he came to learn that “cultural resources” can be anything held dear by individuals or groups that “inform or influence their contemporary sense of social and political identity, their relationships with — and value for — the historical past, their systems of beliefs and practices, and their relationships and interactions with the natural world.” As they apply to Indian Tribes, Ivy said, “’Cultural resources’ are a complex and complicated milieu of conflict, confusion, and frequent contradictions about the past, the present, and the future.”

UO Equity and Inclusion Vice President Yvette Alex-Assensoh is honored that Ivy accepted the university’s invitation to share his wisdom with the campus and broader community.

“The program is a campus-wide opportunity to recognize and celebrate the presence of Native communities and students on our campus and will support our efforts in retaining and recruiting Native students. We are delighted about the enthusiastic response from campus and community members to Mr. Ivy’s visit.”

Class talks:

“Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous Cultural Resource Management”

Course: ENVS 201:  Introduction to Environmental Studies (Dr. Kathy Lynn) Pacific 123, Wed. Feb. 19, 12-12:40 pm

Course:  ENVS 411 Ecological Restoration (Dr. Peg Boulay) 142 COL Wed Feb 19, 12:40-1:20pm


“Lessons from the Coquille Tribe on policy, land/historic preservation and relationship building”

Course: ES 256:  Introduction to Native American Studies (Dr. Brian Klopotek) 117, GHS, Feb. 19, 3:30-4:15 pm

Course:  AAAP 422/522 American Architectural History from a Preservation Perspective II  (Dr. Kingston Heath) Lawrence 263 Feb 20 12-1


“Indigenous Political Theory in the 21st Century”

Course:  ES 399:  Native Resistance (Dr. Chris Finley) 101 Peterson Hall, Feb. 20, 2-2:40 pm


“Food systems-Traditional or Not”

Course:  FLR 410/510 Food, Festival, and Celebration (Dr. Rachelle Saltzman) 116 ESL, Feb. 20, 4-4:45 pm

Public talks

“Native Activism, Law and Land Issues,” co-moderated by Dr. Madonna Moss (Anthropology) and Dr. Brian Klopotek (Ethnic Studies), will be from 5:30 to 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 19 in Rm. 175 Knight Law.

“Convergence: Parting Counsel from our Elder” farewell potluck and honoring ceremony, Thursday, Feb. 20, 6:30 to 8 pm, Many Nations Longhouse.