Award-winning Native American journalist Levi Rickert will discuss the history of the Indian boarding schools in the United States and the lasting impact on Native Americans as the 2023 Indigenous Peoples’ and Environmental Justice Lecture at Hope College on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Rickert is the founder of Native News Online and co-founder of Tribal Business News.  He is a resident of Grand Rapids and a citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. His Potawatomi name is Bizontay Jibwaa N’chi-ock (Calm Before the Storm).

Since its launch in February 2011, Native News Online, with more than five million annual readers, has become one of the most-read daily Native American publications in the country.  Rickert has covered stories on dozens of Indian reservations and from Alcatraz, Standing Rock, White House tribal nations summits, and congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., among other events throughout Indian Country.

With a social media following of more than 500,000, he has become a strong voice in Indian Country and is often called upon by other media outlets as an expert to discuss American Indian affairs.

Rickert was awarded the Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. In June 2023, the West Michigan chapter of the Public Relations Society of America awarded him the Social Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (JEDI) of the Year award for instilling justice, equity, diversity and inclusion into his work.

He serves on the board of directors of the Native Governance Center and the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He also serves on the Native American Advisory Council at Grand Valley State University.

While an author with essays in three different books, his first book, “Visions of a Better Indian Country: One Potawatomi Editor’s Opinions,” was published by Indian Country Media in April 2022. Rickert also co-hosts the Hope + Healing podcast in conjunction with the National Indian Health Board, and hosts Native News Online’s weekly Native Bidaské (Spotlight) which spotlights “those making news and leading change in Indian Country.”

The lecture is being presented by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion in collaboration with Hope College Sustainability, the Office of Culture and Inclusive Excellence, and the GROW Diversity Council.

To inquire about accessibility or if you need accommodations to fully participate in the event, please email  Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets.