- November 12, 2020
- 7:00 pm
- Online (US Pacific Time)
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Please Note: This live online conversation was recorded on our CIIS Public Programs YouTube Channel. Watch it here.
One of the most distinguished voices in American literature, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and poet N. Scott Momaday has devoted much of his life to celebrating and preserving Native American culture, especially its oral tradition. A member of the Kiowa tribe who was born and grew up on Indian reservations throughout the Southwest, Dr. Momaday has a deep attachment to the land he knows well and loves deeply.
In his latest book, Earth Keeper: Reflections on an American Land, Dr. Momaday reflects on his native ground and its influence on his people and the person that he is. Earth Keeper is a story of attachment and a declaration of belonging, rooted in an oral tradition in which Dr. Momaday recalls stories of his childhood that have been passed down through generations, stories that reveal a profound and sacred connection to the American landscape and a reverence for the natural world. In this moving work, he offers an homage and a warning.
Join Indigenous scholar and activist Melissa Nelson for a conversation with Dr. Momaday on his life, his work, and the importance of remembering that the Earth is a sacred place of wonder and beauty; a source of strength and healing that must be protected before it’s too late. Dr. Momaday reminds us that we must all be keepers of the Earth.
Please note that this conversation will be hosted live online and includes an audience Q&A. Instructions on how to join the conversation will be included in your event confirmation email. If you need additional assistance finding or joining the event, please email email@example.com.
N. Scott Momaday was born in 1934 in Lawton, Oklahoma. A poet, novelist, playwright, teacher, and painter, his accomplishments in literature, scholarship, and the arts have established him as an enduring American master. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, House Made of Dawn, a National Medal of Arts, the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. A longtime professor of English and American, literature, Dr. Momaday earned his PhD from Stanford University and retired as Regents Professor at University of Arizona. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D. (Anishinaabe/Métis [Turtle Mountain Chippewa]), is an ecologist, writer, editor, media-maker and Indigenous scholar-activist. Her work is dedicated to Indigenous rights and sustainability, biocultural heritage and environmental justice, intercultural solidarity, and the renewal and celebration of community health and cultural arts. She actively advocates for Indigenous Peoples rights and sustainable lifeways in higher education, nonprofits, and philanthropy, and is particularly passionate about Indigenous food sovereignty at local, regional and global levels. Melissa served as a professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University from 2002 to 2020. She is now Professor of Indigenous sustainability at Arizona State University and continues to work with the Cultural Conservancy, which she has led since 1993. Melissa is the editor of and a contributor to Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future (2008), and co-editor of and contributor to Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning From the Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability (2018).