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'Warrior Narratives' wins Labriola National Book Award

For its groundbreaking work into the composition and structure of the Lakota oral narrative tradition, George Sword’s Warrior Narratives: Compositional Processes in Lakota Oral Tradition (University of Nebraska Press, 2016) has been selected as this year’s winner of the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award.

The book’s winning author, Delphine Red Shirt is a professor of Native American Studies at Stanford University. In her book, she offers a promising, new examination of Lakota literature and the origins of formulaic patterns inherent in the Lakota language – opening up further research for literary studies, anthropological and traditional linguistics and translation studies.

“Dr. Red Shirt’s work distinguished itself among an impressive field of Indigenous scholars nominated for this year's award,” wrote Dr. David Martinez, the chair of the judging committee and an associate professor of American Indian Studies at ASU. 

Earning the distinction of “Honorable Mention” was a book written by William J. Bauer, Jr. – California Through Native Eyes: Reclaiming History. The book made a profound and thought-provoking impact on the judging committee, Martinez said.

Past winners include:

2015 Dr. Sarah Deer, Professor of Law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law for The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America.

2014 Dr. Brenda Child, associate Professor of American Studies and America Indian Studies at University of Minnesota for My Grandfather's Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and labor on the Reservation.

2013 Dr. Andrew Graybill, associate professor of history at Southern Methodist University for The Red and the White: A Family Saga of the American West

Dedicated in 1993, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center in the ASU Library is one of the only repositories within a public university library devoted to American Indian collections. The Labriola Center holds both primary and secondary sources on American Indians across North America.

The center's primary purpose is to promote a better understanding of American Indian language, culture, social, political and economic issues. 

Books submitted for consideration for the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award may cross multiple disciplines or fields of study, but must focus on topics and issues that are pertinent to Indigenous peoples and nations. Of particular interest are those works written by Indigenous scholars or in which Indigenous persons played a significant role in the creation of the nominated work.