eNews Header

April 2010

Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study by Michael Sheyashe
Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study by Michael Sheyashe

sheyasheexamine the serious side of american indians in comic books with author sheyahshe

WHY IS IT SO COMMON for American Indians to exist only as stereotypes in comic books, and why does this portrayal of Native people persist in this form? Find out at Michael Sheyahshe's lecture related to his book Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study on Thursday, April 1 at 2:30 p.m. at the IAIA Library and Technology Center Auditorium, 83 Avan Nu Po Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sheyahshe (Caddo) will sign copies of his book on Friday, April 2, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts located in downtown Santa Fe at 108 Cathedral Place. Both events are free and open to the public.

Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study is a thorough examination and critique of Indigenous cultural representation in American popular culture. It takes an in-depth look at the world of comic books through the eyes of a Native American reader. It addresses a range of portrayals, from the bloodthirsty barbarians and noble savages of dime novels to formulaic secondary characters and sidekicks and occasionally, protagonists sans paternal white hero, examining how and why Native Americans have been consistently marginalized and misrepresented in comics.

Chris Teuton of World Literature Today says "As a groundbreaking work in the study of the depiction of Native Americans in the medium of comics, Native Americans in Comic Books is a welcome addition to the fields of Native American studies and popular culture studies."

Michael A. Sheyahshe has written for Illusions, Trauma Magazine, Native Peoples and Games for Windows: The Official Magazine. A cum laude double BA degree holder, he is a trustee of the Caddo Nation's Heritage Museum and is enrolled in an MFA program at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA

For more information about these events, which were made possible with the support of New Mexico Arts, please contact Michael Sheyahshe at info@nativecomicbooks.com, or call Ryan Rice at 505.428.5922.

W. Richard West, Suzan Shown Harjo, and Dr. N. Scott Momaday
Suzan Shown Harjo, Dr. N. Scott Momaday and W. Richard West

harjoancestors, museums and native representations - an ongoing conversation

ON TUESDAY, APRIL 27 AT 2:30 p.m., join us for an intimate discussion entitled Ancestors, Museums and Native Representations - An Ongoing Conversation, about the struggles, controversies and triumphs concerning Native American representation in the media, popular culture, museums and the law with three of the most influential Native American leaders of our day Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee), Dr. N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa) and W. Richard West, Esq. (Cheyenne).

Harjo, Momaday and West will reflect on the 20th Anniversary of the National Museum of the American Indian and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The presentation includes discussion about their combined, multi-year efforts to achieve the NMAI and repatriation laws in 1989 and 1990. There will be time at the end of the presentation for audience Q&A, followed by a reception with light refreshments.

Suzan Shown Harjo is a poet, writer, curator and advocate. She has helped Native peoples protect many sacred places and recover more than one million acres of land. The first Vine Deloria, Jr. Distinguished Indigenous Scholar (University of Arizona, 2008), Harjo also was the first Native woman to receive the Montgomery Fellowship (Dartmouth College, 1992) and was awarded unprecedented back-to-back fellowships as a 2004 School of Advanced Research Scholar and Poetry Fellow.

N. Scott Momaday is recognized as one of the premier writers in the United States. In 1969, his novel House Made of Dawn was awarded the Pulitzer prize for fiction, and he became the first Native American to receive that award. Momaday is known primarily for his novels and poetry collections that communicate the oral legends of the Kiowa people. He founded and operates the Buffalo Trust, a nonprofit organization working to preserve Native cultures.

W. Richard West, Jr., is Founding Director (1990-2007) and Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Among his myriad memberships and affiliations, West currently serves as Vice President of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) as well as on the boards of the Ford Foundation, National Conservation System Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Bacone College.

This event is sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts with support from New Mexico Arts, and will take place at the IAIA Library and Technology Center Auditorium, 83 Avan Nu Po Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Please contact Guin White at 505.428.5909 or membership@iaia.edu for more information.

Gracias Coyote (detail), Irvin Morazan, 20x30, ink jet archival print
Gracias Coyote (detail), Irvin Morazan, digital archival print

borderi didn't cross the border, the border crossed me

WHEN THE UNITED STATES WAS founded hundreds of years ago, Indigenous communities were presented with new and arbitrarily drawn borders within their ancestral homelands. A group exhibit, I Didn't Cross the Border, the Border Crossed Me, at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts' Store and Lloyd Kiva New Gallery will investigate the impact these borders have had on Native people.

The physical and cognitive constructions of the United States/Canada and United States/Mexico border have created multidimensional divisions in society associated with nationality, physical borders, family, identity, sovereignty, regional attitudes, human rights, documentation and more. Gallery Associate, Institute of American Indian Arts' alumnus and show organizer Bradley Pecore says the show will investigate  these "...varied perspectives regarding traditional lands and current national boundaries in the modern day Indigenous reality."

The exhibit opens with a free public reception on Saturday, April 17 from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 108 Cathedral Place, downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico, and will continue until May 23. As with all Museum Store shows, art work is for sale, and proceeds go to the artists and the Museum.

Participating artists include Kimberly Hargrove, Hector Ruiz, Mike Zillioux, Irvin Morazan, Fausto Fernandez, Keary Rosen, David Sloan, Luis Gutierrez and Bob Haozous. Terry and Autumn Gomez are creating a special performance art piece for the exhibit's opening on April 17.  For more information, call 505.983.1666.

Maria Vagatova, Native Siberian writer, courtesy of Susan Scarberry-Garcia
Maria Vagatova, Indigenous Siberian writer, courtesy of Susan Scarberry-Garcia

siberiansfrom siberia to santa fe: threads of kinship are sewn at iaia

THE INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN INDIAN Arts hosts a creative cultural exchange, "Threads of Kinship: Dialogues with Native Siberian Writers" during the second week of April. Two of the events that week are free and open to the public: a reading on Tuesday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. at IAIA's Library and Technology Center Auditorium and a roundtable discussion on Thursday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m. at IAIA's Center for Lifelong Education Commons Room, 83 Avan Nu Po Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Both events feature Native Siberian writers Yeremai Aipin (Khanty), Maria Vagatova (Khanty), Yuri Vaella (Forest Nenets), with scholar/translator Dr. Alexander Vaschenko of Moscow State University along with Native American writers N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa), James Thomas Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk), Evelina Zuni Lucero (Isleta Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblos), d.g. nanouk okpik (Inupiat-Inuit) and Sherwin Bitsui (Diné). Andrew Wiget will join in on the roundtable discussion on April 15, as well. "Threads of Kinship" has been made possible by the Lannan Foundation.

The exchange promises to open new dialogues about the striking and enduring parallels between Indigenous peoples' literature, arts and life ways in North America and Russia. In the last decade there has been an unprecedented amount of writing being done by Indigenous authors in the United States, Canada and Russia; however, due to historical and political circumstances, seldom could these writers speak directly to their counterparts across the planet. Now that this exchange is possible, valuable discussions about the struggles of maintaining traditional ways of life, languages and lands amid the onslaught of globalization will be carried forth through poets and storytellers.

"Threads of Kinship" will inspire students and members of American Indian communities through the unique dialogue about similarities that nourish-through oral tradition and ritual practice-youth who are seeking direction in their own life journeys. Related initiatives are a forthcoming book The Way of Kinship: An Anthology of Native Siberian Literature and a documentary film Voices of Kinship: N. Scott Momaday's Journeys to Siberia.

For more information, please call 505.424.2365 or email jdavis@iaia.edu. For more information about IAIA, please visit www.iaia.edu

Ester Lopez, IAIA student and collection move volunteer
Ester Lopez, IAIA student and collection move volunteer

volunteers and donors champion collection move

THANKS TO SOME MUCH NEEDED help from marvelous community volunteers, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts continues to makes headway with the relocation of its 7500+ piece collection, the National Collection of Contemporary American Art.
Several large paintings have already made their way to the new collection facility at IAIA's campus with pottery, ceramics and sculpture soon to follow.
Along with assistance from volunteers, several generous donors have stepped up to help with the financial costs of this monumental task, and IAIA and the Museum couldn't be more appreciative.

Additional help is needed. More volunteers are needed, and $150,000 more is required to successfully complete this important project. All volunteers and donors are publicly recognized for their participation and support, and many will receive a special gift or other benefit.

To help with the collection move, whether with time, materials or funds, contact Guin White at 505.428.5909 or membership@iaia.edu.

Kaha:wi, image courtesy of Cylla Von Tiedemann
Kaha:wi, courtesy of Cylla Von Tiedemann

canadian first nations dance company makes new mexico appearance

FRIENDS OF IAIA, KAHA:WI DANCE Theatre(KDT) will be performing at the N4th Theater, 4904 Fourth NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico at 8:00 p.m. on April 16 and 17 as a part of the Global DanceFest and Two Worlds Festival. Tickets are $15 general admission, or $10 for seniors and students.

KDT is an artist based company founded by Santee Smith (Mohawk). They will be performing repertorie excerpts from several dances. Kaha:wi is steeped in traditional Iroquoian based song and dance, the narrative weaves around the lives of three generations of women and the community in which they thrive.Kaha:wi touches audiences on an emotional, physical and spiritual level. Constellation of Bones explores love, unity, alienation and reconciliation through the movements of two couples. Here on Earth originates in the Iroquoian belief that human beings dwelled in the Sky and dreamt their existence on Earth.

KDT creates professional dance productions and is committed to increasing awareness and understanding of Aboriginal culture through the work of the company. Artistic Director, Smith has become known for her successful blend of traditional and contemporary dance elements. This new style of dance expression can only be described broadly as contemporary Aboriginal dance.

For more information or to purchase tickets to either performance, contact N4th Theater at 505.344.4542, or click here to visit their website.
Click here for the IAIA
E-News Archive

Keep up with IAIA
on Facebook

Follow IAIA

Follow Museum

IAIA's mission is to empower creativity and leadership in Native arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning and outreach. Its vision is to be a premier educational institute for Native arts and cultures.

We welcome your inquiries:

Institute of American Indian Arts
505.424.2300 www.iaia.edu

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
505.983.8900 www.iaiamuseum.org

Click here to join the Museum today

Click here for IAIA travel programs information

Join Our Mailing List
calendar of events

Museum Contemporary Native Arts Logo

Through 04/10/10
The Sovereign Image
, featuring contemporary Native photography and digital imagery

Through 05/13/10

SPLASH! 2010 IAIA Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduates' Exhibit
May 13, 3:00-5:00 PM: Special closing reception

04/16/10 - 05/23/10
I Didn't Cross the Border, the Border Crossed Me explores arbitrary national borders' effect on Native communities
April 17, 12:00-2:00 PM: Public opening reception

04/02/10  5:00-7:00PM

Book signing by Michael Sheyashe, author of Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study

04/27/10  2:30 PM
Ancestors, Museums and Native Representations - An Ongoing Conversation with Suzan Harjo, Scott Momaday and Rick West, at IAIA Auditorium, 83 Avan Nu Po Rd

4/30/10-05/04/10 OR
Capture the Spirit of Native People and Lands, a Photographic Journey in the Southwest, 505.820.3305 or info@sevendirections.net

09/08/10 - 09/12/10
Contemporary Native Arts of the Pacific Northwest, members get a discount, 1.800.556.7896 ext. 7357 or travel@academic-travel.com

IAIA logo

Primitive Edge Gallery, 505.424.2361

04/01/10 - 04/22/10
Senior Thesis Exhibit
April 1, 5:00 PM: Public opening reception

05/06/10 - 08/26/10
Student Summer Exhibit

04/01/10  12:00 PM
Lecture by artist, Duane Slick about studio health and safety

04/01/10  2:30 PM
Public lecture by Michael Sheyashe, author of Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study

04/13/10 & 04/15/10  7:00 PM

Threads of Kinship: Dialogues with Native Siberian Writers Call 505.424.2365 for more information.

IAIA's Spring Homecoming Powwow

IAIA's College's Spring Commencement. Details coming soon.

Center for Lifelong Education Logo

06/09 and 06/11/10

Cultural Tourism Workshop: New Strategies for Tribal Tourism in an Economic Downturn