Published: Feb. 3, 2017

Charlotte RoderiqueA year ago, former Chairwoman Charlotte Roderique of the Burns Paiute tribe in eastern Oregon came to national attention during the armed takeover, led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Originally part of the Paiute home territory, the Refuge holds many of the tribe’s sacred sites, as well as artifacts and natural resources laden with cultural meaning.

In a press conference, followed by a New York Times editorial, Roderique vigorously presented the tribe’s view of the takeover. Mocking the refuge occupiers’ demand that they should be recognized as the original owners of the public lands, the Burns Paiute people asserted their status as the original residents and brought attention to the remarkable cooperation among Native peoples, federal employees and ranchers that had been in place before the Bundys seized center stage.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Roderique will speak at CU Boulder's Benson Earth Sciences Building regarding the 2016 refuge takeover.

If you go
What: "The 2016 Oregon Wildlife Refuge Takeover: A Tribal Response"
When: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Benson Earth Sciences Building, room 180

“Charlotte Roderique is a forthright and inspirational leader and also one of the American West’s most gifted practitioners in the art of using wit and humor to put fresh and disarming ideas into play,” Patty Limerick, faculty director of the Center of the American West, observed. “Anyone who joins us on Feb. 21 will remember her visit for years to come.”

The Modern Indian Identity program features a series of contemporary Native American speakers telling their stories in ways that confirm the compatibility of tradition with innovation. The speakers have a profound tie to their peoples’ pasts, and they have also adapted with agility and enterprise to the conditions of our times.

This event, made possible by the generosity of Liz and Tony Moores, is free and open to public. Please contact the Center of the American West at or 303-492-4879 with any questions.