Prominent Native American Writers Gather At UNH Dec. 2
Contact:  Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
November 28, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. – America has a long history of portraying Native Americans in a myriad of ways, from a stoic, humorless “Indian” to a heartless warrior without religion. In actuality, Native Americans are a highly diverse and complex people who number more than 2 million in the United States.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006, outstanding Native American writers from New England, Canada and the Southeast will gather for “Native Voices, Native Homelands,” an afternoon of poetry and discussion at the University of New Hampshire that aims to inform and educate the public about their culture and history. The event starts at 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building, Theater II. The event is free and open to the public.

The discussion will be facilitated by Siobhan Senier, associate professor of English at UNH, and Lisa Brooks, assistant professor of history and literature and of folklore and mythology at Harvard University.

“Native writers are at the forefront in combating stereotypes of their people as they represent both historical and contemporary Native lives as a rich and complex tapestry of experience. There are no simplistic characters, themes or types. Rather, native writers are highly adept at capturing the diversity and complexity of the characters and stories that they weave, as well as the multifaceted relationships between them,” Senier says.

“Listeners will come away with an understanding that ‘Indian Country’ continues to survive, and thrive, in New England, in America, and across this wide continent,’ ” she says.

The featured authors include:

  • Lee Maracle, award-winning poet, orator and fiction writer from the Sto:Loh Nation, author of Bentbox, Sundogs, and Ravensong, and the mentor for aboriginal students at University of Toronto, where she also is an instructor and the traditional cultural director for the Indigenous Theatre School.
  • MariJo Moore, award-winning poet, essayist, editor, and publisher of Cherokee, Irish, and Dutch ancestry, author of Crow Quotes, Redwoman with Backward Eyes and Other Stories, and editor of Genocide of the Mind: New Writings by Native Americans.
  • Cheryl Savageau, award-winning Abenaki poet and creative writer, author of Home Country, Muskrat Will Be Swimming, Dirt Road Home, and the newly released Mother/land.
  • Doris Seale, Santee Dakota/Cree, a founding member of OYATE and co-author of the award-winning books The Broken Flute and Through Indian Eyes.
  • Marge Bruchac, award-winning Abenaki historian, storyteller and writer, author of 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving and the recently acclaimed Malian’s Song.

This event is made possible with the assistance and collaboration of the UNH Center for the Humanities, Harvard University, the New Hampshire Humanities Council, and Gedakina, a nonprofit organization focused on indigenous cultural revitalization, educational outreach and community wellness in northern New England.