Happy Indigenous People’s Day! Today we commemorate the heritage, stories, and contribution of Native American communities. We are honored to represent speakers that talk about their experiences growing up in and writing about their Indigenous cultures. Their moving words are an inspiration, on and off the page. Contact us for more information about bringing one of these speakers to your school, library, business, or association.
Tommy Orange is the novelist of the Pulitzer Prize finalist, There There. In this critically hailed debut novel that has been adopted by schools across the country, Orange depicts a unique portrait of urban Native American characters and their experiences of violence, loss, heritage, and power. An immensely talented writer and a gifted speaker, Orange discusses his experience as a writer working in an underrepresented historical context, and thoughtfully explore identity and community with an eye on the Native American culture and history that permeate his works.
Kali Fajardo-Anstine is an author and National Book Award Finalist. Her debut story collection, Sabrina & Corina, made waves in the literary community for its honest, provocative look at life in the American West for women of Latina and Indigenous descent. Drawing from her Southern Colorado heritage and life experiences living across the American West, Fajardo-Anstine’s writing and lectures reflect her own heritage as a Coloradan Chicana with roots in Indigenous, Latina, and Filipino cultures. In rousing talks that challenge the status quo, Fajardo-Anstine puts intersectional Chicana narratives at the center, highlights the importance of identity, and breaks down her approach to the craft of writing.
Anthropologist and author David Treuer grew up on an Ojibwe reservation and has spent his career studying and researching current and past Native lives, focusing on the resourcefulness and reinvention it takes to preserve Native languages, traditions, and families. In The Heartbreak of Wounded Knee, Treuer uses history, reportage, and memoir to document the story of the tribes’ cultures, and how the Native American population, generation after generation, has found ways to survive, resist, and renew their ways of life. In his moving talks, Treuer offers a counter-narrative to Native American history, a story with themes of resiliency, survival, and finding strength in the face of disastrous odds.