Highlights from the Labriola Center
October's events at the Labriola National American Indian Data Center oscillated around themes of Indigenous identity in academia, which includes the Office of Indian Education's Symposium, Vina Begay's Archive Wednesday, a book talk with Ramona Emerson, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Labriola Center staff ended the October month dressed as characters from Spaceballs for Halloween.
Celebrating Indigenous People's Day with the Office of Indian Education's Symposium: K-12 Indigenous Literacy
For Indigenous Peoples' Day, the Labriola Center hosted Arizona Humanities and the Office of Indian Education's K-12 Indigenous Literacy symposium at Hayden Library. This symposium focused on K-12 educators within Tribal and non-Tribal communities, so that teachers can implement cultural resilience within their classrooms for Indigenous students. Approximately seventy people attended. Senior Program Coordinator, Eric Hardy (Diné), presented on Indigenous librarianship and the need for American Indian representation within libraries. Other topics included "Building Partnerships with Tribal Librarians," "Literary Representation and Analysis," "Valuing Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Respecting Cultural Protocols," "Culturally Relevant Education and the Science of Reading," and "Indigenous Language and Literacy Development Across Content Areas."
The book display for this symposium presented children's and young adult literature written by and for Indigenous students, and some problematic children's books and materials were hidden in the display. The purpose for this display was to show educators what information and literature was appropriate to implement in the classroom and what books contained culturally sensitive information, which should be kept within tribal communities and not for public consumption. Director Alex Soto and Vina Begay led this session during the symposium.
The Labriola Center currently houses a wide range collection of Indigenous children's literature that can be checked out with an ASU ID card. Some of the highlighted books for this display are Joy Harjo's "Remember" and "Healer of the Water Monster," by Brian Brayboy. Participants were able to take a copy home to their classroom.
Near the end of the symposium, the Labriola Center's library aides presented their personal experience as Indigenous students in K-12 education. Some shared positive experiences, while others shared their experience as either isolating or having to confront ignorance at a young age. Their hopes are that educators can learn from their experiences to implement cultural sensitivity and awareness in their classrooms and courses.
On Wednesday, October 18th in Hayden Library, Labriola assistant librarian and archivist Vina Begay led an archival workshop called "Archive Wednesday." Archives that were featured in this workshop were the Jean Chaudhuri Collection, the Hia C-eḍ Oʼodham's Collection, and the Peterson Zah Collection. Director Alex Soto (Tohono O’odham), Lourdes Pereira (Hia-Ced O’odham and Yoeme), and Penrose Fulwilder (Onk Akimel O'odham) shared the significance of what archives have contributed to their own personal work and the importance they hold for all Indigenous communities. With an attendance of around thirty people, we had many Indigenous and non-Indigenous guests learning about storytelling archive methods, revitalization of language, and cooperation with communities. These are all building blocks for constructing Indigenous archiving systems that respect Indigenous people to be used throughout ASU’s library network.
-Written by Mafi Pamaka (Tongan)
Labriola’s archival and distinctive collections feature rare books, manuscripts, photographs, historical newspapers, community press materials, ASU past Indigenous faculty members and much more. The Labriola Center implements an Indigenous archival practice towards its mission of supporting and upholding Tribal cultural sovereignty and cultural protocols, which centers around Indigenous ways of knowing, lived experiences, and community ties. This workshop demonstrated how an Indigenous Archive connects, strengthens, and restores many Tribal communities' identity, history, and advocacy for Indigenous Social Rights and Justice.
Peterson Zah was born on December 2, 1937 in Low Mountain, Arizona to Henry and Mae (Multine) Zah. Zah attended Phoenix Indian School until 1960 and then went to Arizona State University. He graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor's Degree in Education. He holds honorary Doctor of Law degrees from both Colorado College and the College of Santa Fe. From 1983 to 1987, Zah served as chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council at Window Rock, governing the largest reservation in the United States. Zah focused much time and energy on reforming education. In 1990, Zah became the first elected president in the new Navajo Nation. He passed away March 7, 2023. Read about Peterson Zah by visiting his collection, "Peterson Zah Collection 1969-1994."
Jean Chaudhuri (Muscogee) was an American Indian activist who created the first urban clinic for Indigenous peoples residing in Tucson, Arizona. She was a director for several organizations, including the Tucson Indian Center, Traditional Indian Alliance, Arizona Indian Women in Progress, founded and co-chaired the Native American Heritage Preservation Coalition, an organization that fought hard to prevent a land swap of the BIA Phoenix Indian School for the limited surface rights of a private developer's swampland in Florida. She also advocated for religious freedom for American Indians in prison. She was truly a woman well before her time and has helped establish the foundation for many Indigenous peoples residing in Tuscons and the Phoenix valley today. Read more about Jean Chaudhuri by visiting the collection, "Jean Chaudhuri Papers."
Last year, the Labriola Center featured key copies of the Jean Chaudhuri Papers at the ASU Art Space on West campus. You can read about the opening night and reception here.
Book Talk with Ramona Emerson
Ramona Emerson (Diné) is author of Shutter, a novel about Rita Todacheene, a forensic photographer working for the Albuquerque police force who sees ghosts. Ramona's inspiration for Shutter stemmed from her experience working in the police field as a photographer for crime scenes. She noticed a lack of representation in the horror genre and sought a degree at the Institute of American Indian Arts and received an MFA in Creative Writing. At the book talk, she spoke about her personal experience attending IAIA and her process writing her book. She expressed that writing is still a challenging activity for her, however she knew this book had to be written and with the support from faculty and her peers, she received feedback for improvements and advice for publications. The book talk also had a panel of speakers, led by Dr. Jerome Clark (Diné), Assistant Professor of the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies at Arizona State University. The previous spring, Professor Clark led a course on Indigenous Speculative Fiction, and one of the novels discussed was Emerson's novel, Shutter.
American Indian Tribal Library Association Conference 2023
Labriola staff, Alex Soto, Vina Begay, Eric Hardy, and Yitazba Largo-Anderson, flew out to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for the annual American Indian Tribal Library Association Conference. One of the highlighted speakers for the conference was Randy’L Teton (Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Member), who modeled Sacajewea on the silver dollar coin released in 2000. According to the United States Mint, Randy’L is the ‘Youngest & Only Living model’ on U.S currency. She served as the Shoshone model in 1998 for Santa Fe artist Glenna Goodacre and in 2000 the coin was released to the public. Teton spent two years after the release marketing the new dollar coin with the U.S. Mint. Randy'L is from the same tribe as Sacajewea. She spent time working in museums and noticed that there were no authors from Sacajewea's tribe who wrote the true story of Sacajewea. Randy'L took it upon herself to labor over ten years working on a children's book on this historical figure. Her book, "It's Her Story: Sacajawea A Graphic Novel'' was recently released. The illustrator, Aly McKnight is also an enrolled Shoshone-Bannock tribal member. This is the first book published about Sacajawea that has been authored and illustrated by women who are members of the same tribe as Sacajawea.
The conference included sessions that included conversations around Tribal libraries and archives. Some discussions included the McGurt Case, which touched on Tribal sovereignty and landback through the lens of treaties and federal law in Oklahoma. There were other sessions that included how Tribal community members use technology to connect with family members and develop careers and technology skills through public libraries. In regards to data sovereignty, some sessions spoke about classification modules like Mukurtu instead of Library of Congress. Mukurtu is "a content management system and digital access tool for cultural heritage, built for and in ongoing dialogue with indigenous communities…(and) offers the ability to provide differential access to community members and the general public and to create space for traditional narratives and knowledge labels that foreground Indigenous knowledge in the metadata of digitized cultural heritage materials" (read more about Mukurtu here).
Halloween at the Labriola Center
Labriola Center staff celebrated Halloween by dressing up as characters from 1987's Sci-Fi Comedy film, Spaceballs, a 1987 comedic rendition of Star Wars. Alycia de Mesa wore a Spaceballs merchandise t-shirt, Eric Hardy dressed as Lone Starr, Eli Shepherd was a Dink, Alex Soto was Dark Helmet, Nataani Hanley-Moraga was “good” Barf, Vina Begay was Princess Vespa, Mafi Pamaka was Dot Matrix, and Elena Dominguez was Dr. Schlotkin.
Check out our upcoming events by visiting our events page here.