Eastern Michigan University
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Betty Kay McGowan, PhD, Wayne State University, 1994

Adjunct Professor


Areas of Expertise


Kay McGowan (PhD, WSU, 1994) is an adjunct professor teaching Anth & Soc classes since 1989 -- since 1997 at EMU.

As vice-chair of the National Indian Youth Council, in Albuquerque, NM, she has represented the interests of indigenous peoples at the United Nations, in the Working Group on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, CERD, and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In 1995, Kay was a delegate to the IV World Conference on Women in Beijing.

In 2009, Kay was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.

In 2012 and 2013 Kay went back to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations, in Geneva, and testified on water as a human right, and the Boarding School issue.

She has co-authored five books and written many articles.

She finds expression for her commitment to social justice in teaching her students at EMU.

Kay enjoys traveling, art, sewing, Powwows, and spending time with her identical twin Fay Givens, Executive Director of American Indian Services. They collaborated in the creation of a documentary movie, "Indian Boarding School: A Survivor's Story" which is proving to be an effective tool for survivors and their families to come to terms with their inter-generational trauma.

She is married to Blair McGowan. They have four sons and a daughter and four grandchildren.