Hollywood star, human rights advocate to speak at NWIC

Actress and human rights and environmental activist Q'orianka Kilcher will speak on Northwest Indian College's main campus on April 24 at 10 a.m. in the Cultural Arts Center (Building 7) as part of the NWIC-NOAA Career Fair. The presentation is free and open to everyone.

Kilcher, who is of Quechua-Huachipaeri decent, stared as Pocahontas in the 2005 film, "The New World" when she was 14 years old. In addition to acting, she is also known for her commitment to human rights and the environment. She frequently speaks about these topics and has been a featured speaker for organizations such as Amazon Watch, Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Kilcher isn't your typical young Hollywood star, said Steve Pavlik, NWIC Native American Studies instructor. She has devoted her life to environmental and human rights activism.

"I wanted her to speak because she is an exemplary role model for young people, and especially Native youth," Pavlik said. "For Q, her activism is not a whim or a moment to be exploited for publicity. It is her passion. She is charismatic, bright, articulate, firery, and completely devoted to making the world a better place."

Kilcher has battled giant oil corporations on behalf of the environment and Indigenous people, Pavlik explained. She has stood in front of bulldozers destroying the Amazon rain forest, and has chained herself in protest to the gates in front of the White House.

"While far too many other people simply talk, Q acts," Pavlik said. "There is no one who I admire more. My hope is that in a time when Native lands are under siege by corporations that seek to exploit and destroy, that Q will inspire other young Native youth to take a stand and demand accountability from the corporations and the tribal leaders who decide upon such matters."

In addition to speaking at NWIC, Kilcher will also speak at Lummi High School during a student-only presentation on April 24.