Press Release: Marissa Turnbull, Indigenous Rights in the 21st Century

Media Contact: 
Paul Nugent, Executive Director
Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council

Marissa Turnbull presents, “Indigenous Rights in the 21st Century”

This Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council virtual meeting takes place on Wednesday, November 18 via Zoom

Waterford, CT (November 12, 2020) – The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) announced today that Marissa Turnbull is to speak on Indigenous Rights in the 21st Century at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, via Zoom. The virtual presentation is free for members and press, $20 for non-members. Registration is required.

The indigenous rights perspective is founded on the political movement to reassert tribal sovereignty and self-determination and demand respect for indigenous rights to cultural survival. This presentation shall discuss how the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribe seeks to protect their ancestors, and how the tribe is attempting to secure recognition of basic human rights. Focus will be placed on federal historic and cultural preservation statutes, such as the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). 

Ms. Turnbull’s presentation is part of the SECWAC 2020-2021 Speaker Series. Register in advance at


Marissa A. Turnbull is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) and the appointed NAGPRA specialist for the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribe. Ms. Turnbull is charged with preserving, promoting, and protecting culturally significant sites within the aboriginal territory of the Mashantucket Western Pequot Tribe, repatriating Mashantucket Pequot human remains and sacred objects, maintaining and protecting Mashantucket Pequot cemeteries, and assisting the Tribal Nation in better understanding Tribal, Federal, and State cultural resource management and historic preservation policy. 

Ms. Turnbull received a B.S. in Applied Indigenous Studies, Cultural Resource Management, and Anthropology from Northern Arizona University and a M.A. in Jurisprudence in Indian Law. Her work and experience focus on federal-Indian law and policy, tribal jurisdiction, environmental and social justice, and indigenous human rights law. 


SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange at least 10-12 meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings present a range of topics in international affairs, foreign policy and diplomatic history, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.  SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policymakers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more here.


CALENDAR LISTING: Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) presents Marissa Turnbull on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required in advance.
Presentations in our speaker series are free for members. Annual membership of SECWAC is $85; $25 for young professionals under 35, and free for area students and educators; corporate membership available for $1,000 (contact SECWAC for details).

NEXT VIRTUAL MEETING: On December 9, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., Peter Beinart, City University of New York, will speak on “Israeli-Palestinian Relations in the 21st Century.” Learn more here.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) is to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs by study, debate, and educational programming, primarily through a Speakers Series of 8 to 10 monthly meetings.