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In Brief 

by Cara Gardner

Plateau Peoples -- PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University is holding a conference to honor and learn about the traditional cultures of the Plateau peoples. The conference, "Honoring the Heritage of the Plateau Peoples: Past, Present and Future," is the first of its kind and runs Sept. 29-30. The conference was born out of discussions between university leaders and the WSU Native American Advisory Board to the President.

"They discuss services we might be able to afford the tribes in terms of improving educational experience," says Mary Collins, conference coordinator. The advisory board is working with WSU on creating a permanent Plateau Peoples Center.

"We applied for and received a grant from Senator Patty Murray's office," explains Collins. "We felt that at the end of the grant year we needed something concrete to launch the idea of the Plateau [Center].

"We are requiring registration for people who want to go to all the events, which includes meals," Collins adds. "But for people who just want to drop into something, there's no charge." Collins says. The conference is free for tribal elders 65 years and older; students of all ages receive a discount.

To register, call (509) 335-4314.

The State of Oceans -- SPOKANE -- Paul Watson isn't your everyday tree hugger. Founder and director of the environmental group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, co-founder of Greenpeace, board member for the Sierra Club and author of six books on environmental activism, Watson has devoted his life to renegade, cowboy-up earth activism. He has been labeled an eco-terrorist by the FBI and says he would have no qualms about resorting to violence for his cause. He's also out to educate the public about what's happening to the world's oceans. Watson will be in Spokane on Tuesday, Sept. 28, at Spokane Falls Community College for a lecture and book signing.

"In this time of hysteria in this country in terms of environmentalists, Paul Watson is the type of speaker people in Spokane can learn from and use as a test for how they value the environment," says SFCC and SCC English instructor Paul Haeder.

"Paul Watson is the pilgrim for environmental intervention," Haeder says. "He decides to put his reputation and life on the line to protect dwindling ecosystems."

Watson's visit marks the kickoff for what will be a season of provocative speakers at the community colleges, says Haeder, adding that the lecture series is aimed to "open an avenue for people to participate more."

Watson's controversial reputation makes him all the more fascinating, especially for young people in the environmental movement. In fact, Watson organizes international teams of young, determined environmentalists to patrol endangered waters.

"He thinks one man's terrorism is another man's freedom fighter," Haeder says. Regarding whether Watson has tried to disassociate himself from the term "terrorist," particularly after 9/11, Haeder says, "He's in his twilight years -- he doesn't care what people call him. He's a Robin Hood in my mind for tackling huge corporations that are breaking the law."

Paul Watson will give a lecture and sign books at the Student Union Building (SUB) on Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 11:30 am. The event is free and open to the public.

Charitable News -- SPOKANE -- A new, free electronic newsletter, The Community Foundation Connection, is now being offered to financial professionals in the region who want to offer their clients more comprehensive information regarding the charitable and philanthropic industries. Foundation Northwest, a community foundation made up of more than 200 charitable funds, publishes the newsletter.

"This is for professional advisors in the financial, legal, investment and banking industries," says Bill Pratt, director of philanthropic services for Foundation Northwest. "It's an effort to better inform professional advisors working with clients who may be interested in making charitable and philanthropic gifts to the community."

The Community Foundation Connection is bimonthly and first came out in August. Articles discuss how advisors can help clients in changing tax laws, how clients can help their communities with charitable gifts and how a program in Denver is persuading people who don't need their Social Security money to donate it. To sign up for the free newsletter, e-mail Bill Pratt at [email protected]

Publication date: 09/23/04
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