Join in the conversation about the very real issues that face American Indians and why they exist. WLA will have a demi-plenary session on the subject of Deconstructed and Reconstructed Indigenous Identities and Families with these speakers::
Susan Devan Harness, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, was born on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation and became a transracial adoptee at the age of two. Her new memoir Bitteroot: A Memoir of Transracial Adoption explores the uneasy intersection of race, history, and the brutal government American Indian policies that affect the lives of families. She is also the author of Mixing Cultural Identities through Transracial Adoption: After the Indian Adoption Project (1958-1967).
Margaret D. Jacobs, Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has for two decades studied Indigenous child removal. Her work on government policies from 1880-1940 led to her award-winning book White Mother to a Dark Race. More recently, she has looked at how authorities in the U.S., Australia, and Canada continued to remove Indigenous children after World War II through foster care and adoptive placements in non-Indigenous families—and how Indigenous women mobilized transnationally to reclaim the care of their children. With support from a Carnegie Fellowship, she is currently focusing on how to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
Stephen Graham Jones, Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado, is the author of too many award-winning novels and short stories to count, including Mongrels, Mapping the Interior, and Ledfeather. (Those awards include being listed as one of Bloody Disgusting’s Top Ten Horror Novels of the Year.) He grew up in West Texas; often visited the Blackfeet reservation in Montana with his father, a member of that nation; and experiments with horror, sci-fi, fantasy, slashers, werewolf stories, and other pop culture forms. He also is interested in how Native Americans and their families and communities might operate in such genres.
Rick Waters is Co-Executive Director of the Denver Indian Center and Lead Relationship Guidance Specialist. A member of the Kiowa and Cherokee tribes, he has worked as the Sr. Director with the American Indian College Fund, Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and American Indian Home-School Liaison with the Dallas Independent School District. The Denver Indian Center is “an urban cultural gathering center for the American Indian/Alaska Native community of the Denver Metro area.”