Strength, Unity, Power: Contemporary Practices in Native Arts

umass strength unity power contemporary practice native arts

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst second-year graduate students in the History of Art & Archictecture Department invite you to an exciting upcoming event:

Strength, Unity, Power: Contemporary Practices in Native Arts

This symposium explores the cutting edge of what artists, museum professionals, and scholars today are doing to promote justice for Native American communities, both in the art world and beyond. The keynote address will be delivered by contemporary Native American artist, Wendy Red Star, and will be followed by a panel discussion withscholars, Dr. Sonya Atalay and Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, moderated by Dr.Dana Leibsohn.

The symposium is a free event hosted by the History of Art & Architecture department’s second year graduate students. Symposium Date & Time: 15 September, 4pm-6pm, Location: ILC S240 Reception Date & Time: 15 September, 6pm-7pm, Location: Campus Center 165

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The Resurgence of Diné Principles to Guide the People

navajo sovereignty

Navajo Sovereignty: Understandings and Visions of the Diné People, a new collection of essays by Navajo authors, edited by Professor Lloyd L. Lee, tackles Indigenous sovereignty from a specifically Navajo perspective. The essays vary in tone and depth, but they all hit on or near the bulls-eye: revealing “the ongoing consequences of an imposed Western democratic governmental structure that transformed Navajo governance and leadership.”

The book demonstrates that Navajo society has not succumbed to the imposition of an alien governmental structure. The essays depict “tribal government” as a collaborator with colonial forms, but as Professor Jennifer Denetdale says in her Foreword, the authors “note the multiple ways and layers of how we are Diné and how we practice sovereignty and self-determination [and how] we work to transform governance….”

The authors do not shy from referring to U.S. federal Indian law as “U.S. claims to authority”; describing the “domestic dependent” relationship as “constraint,” rather than “protection”; and celebrating community cultural, organic sovereignty as “spaces of respite and rest from the ongoing effects of colonialism.” The book’s unflinching confrontation with the “colonial box” of federal Indian law combines with unabashed affirmation of Diné Fundamental Laws and philosophical principles, to advocate traditional Navajo governance to meet 21st century challenges.

Link here to the full review by Peter d’Errico in Indian Country Today.

UMass Amherst Powwow April 15, 2017

umass powwow 2017 poster

Hosted by UMass Amherst Native American Student Association.

Come join us at Curry Hicks Cage Gym on the UMass Amherst campus. All public welcome, free parking, handicapped accessible, donations welcome, vendors.

Host Drums: Storm Boyz
Guest drums: Iron River, Eastern Suns
Head Man: Dan Shears
Head Lady: Angelina LaRotonda
MC: Justin Beatty
Arena Director: Don Barnaby
Story teller: Larry Spotted Crow Mann

Food by UMass’ own Baby Berk!

If you are interested in becoming a vendor, you may contact jasminerochellegoodspeed@gmail.com.

If you are traveling to the powwow and will need a hotel room, we have arranged with the Howard Johnson in Hadley to have a block of rooms reserved for us. Call and mention you will be in town for the UMass Powwow and they can give you a rate of $93/night!
Howard Johnson Express Inn
413-586-0114 or 1-800-467-4600
401 Russell St.
Hadley, MA 01035

Third Annual Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Symposium April 6-8, 2017

the women elizabeth lapensee

Living Waters, Animate Lands

Traditional Ecological Knowledge:  Braiding Story, Skills and Sustenance with Hope for a Sustainable Future

SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE

Thursday, April 6 (UMass Amherst Campus Center: Cape Cod Lounge)

6:30 pm Welcome Reception

7:00 pm Film: “The Spirit of Standing Rock”

Friday, April 7 (Amherst College, Converse Hall: Cole Assembly)

9:00 am Gathering, Welcome, Opening Ceremonies

9:30-11:00 Opening address and Animate Lands Panel

11:15-11:30 Break

11:30-1:00 Living Waters Panel

1:00-2:00 Buffet lunch for all participants

2:00-3:00 Roundtable Discussions – Speakers, FCNAIS faculty, participants

3:15-4:15 Roundtable Discussions – Speakers, FCNAIS faculty, participants

4:30-5:00 Summary Discussion and Closing (All)

6:30pm Evening Reception (Amherst College, Converse Hall: Cole Assembly lobby)

7:00pm Reading by LeAnne Howe and Susan Power

Saturday, April 8 (gather at Amherst College)

10:00-noon TEK plant walk

Featured Speakers

Fikret Berkes is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, and author of Sacred Ecology (Third Edition, Routledge, 2012)

John Banks is the Director of the Department of Natural Resources for the Penobscot Indian Nation and, as a representative of his nation, helped develop the  Penobscot River Restoration Project

Amberdawn LaFrance works for the Akwesasne Cultural Restoration Program, part of the Environmental Division of the Akwesasne/St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which recently produced a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the nation.

Natalie Michelle is a citizen of Penobscot nation and a Ph.D. Candidate in  Ethnobotany and Adaptive Management at the University of Maine, Orono.

With a dual background in art and marine science, Elizabeth James Perry works for the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribal Historic Preservation office.

Nicholas James Reo is a citizen of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Assistant Professor of Native American and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, where where he studies Indigenous knowledge and ecological stewardship on Indigenous lands.

LeAnne Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, creative non-fiction, plays and scholarship that primarily deal with American Indian and Native American experiences.

Susan Power is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a native Chicagoan. She is the author of three books, The Grass Dancer (a novel), Roofwalker (a story collection), and the new novel, Sacred Wilderness.

Judy Dow is an Abenaki educator who specializes in sharing indigenous environmental knowledge with youth. A basketmaker and artist, she incorporates traditional ecological knowledge into her art and her teaching.

Go here for a full schedule and list of speakers.

Sponsored in part by Gedakina.org.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz at UMass April 4, 2017

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz UMass

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s public talk focuses on North America in the context of US settler-colonialism. Professor Dunbar-Ortiz will discuss the friction between settler environmentalism and Indigenous knowledge, considering what is required for the environmental movement to develop authentic solidarity with Indigenous Peoples’ struggle for survival, leading to real anti-imperialist environmentalism.

Link to file for the Dunbar-Ortiz Poster.