Plenary I: Between and Among Us: Native-Chicana Women Speak about Indigeneity
NORA CHAPA MENDOZA
Nora Chapa Mendoza is a Michigan artist who has exhibited nationally and internationally. She was born in Weslaco, Texas in 1932 and is a member of the council and elder for Kanto de la Tierra, medecine Eagle Gathering and Sundancer with Kalpulli Koakalco Mexico. She is the recipient of the1999 “Michigan Artist of the Year” by ArtServe Michigan and the Governor’s Arts Award. She has walked the Red Road since 1980.
Reid Gómez is a urban raised Navajo writer and photographer with a Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies. Her second novel, Cebolla, is in the final stages of revisions. Her first novel, A Woman’s Body Was Found There, is forthcoming.
CELIA HERRERA RODRIGUEZ
Celia Herrera Rodríguez is a visual artist whose work reflects a full generation of dialogue with Chicano, Native American, Pre-Columbian, and Mexican thought. She has taught Chicano Art and Art History at the University of California, Berkeley for the last seven years and is currently teaching at the California College for the Arts in Oakland. She has exhibited her work extensively both nationally and internationally. Current exhibitions include the Triton Museum of San Jose, CA; the CN Gorman Museum, UC- Davis; the MultiCultural Center at UC- Santa Barbara; and the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, BC. Recent performances include the “Prayer for the Mother Waters for Peace” at the Curtain Gallery at Columbia College of Chicago and “ Woman Falling from the Night Sky” in Brussels, Belgium. She is a founding member of La Red Xicana Indigena. She lives in Oakland with her partner, children and grandchildren.
Plenary II: The Fire Within: Women Discuss What Inspires Them to Write
Associate Professor LeAnne Howe is the author of two novels and a book of poems. She’s a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. In 2006-2007 she has been the John and Renee Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi at Oxford. She was the screenwriter for Indian Country Diaries: Spiral of Fire, a 90-minute PBS documentary released in November 2006. Her first novel, Shell Shaker, Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco, received an American Book Award in 2002. Evidence of Red, Salt Publishing, UK, received the Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry in 2006. Her second novel, Miko Kings, an Indian Baseball Story, is forthcoming fall 2007 from Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco. Currently Howe teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in the American Indian Studies program, and in the MFA program in Creative Writing in English.
Gonzales is a writer, columnist, promotora and herbalist and traditional birth attendant. Among the awards that she holds dear are her human rights award for the book, The Mud People: Chronicles, Testimonios & Remembrances, as well as the human rights awards she shares with her husband, Roberto Rodriguez, for their national Column of the Americas, which the have co-authored since 1994. She recently joined the Mexican American Studies and Research Center at the University of Arizona, where she is developing courses on Indigenous medicine and Indigenous Knowledge(s).
brownfemipower has been the editor of Woman of Color Blog for almost two years. She believes that part of changing the world is ensuring that women of color make their own forms of media for their own communities and as a result, spends an inordinate amount of time wondering how media can be used as a tool of liberation. On the side, brownfemipower is also currently working on her Masters degree and writing her first novel!
Susan Power is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a native Chicagoan. She is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a recipient of a James Michener Fellowship, Radcliffe Bunting Institute Fellowship, Princeton Hodder Fellowship, and United States Artists Fellowship. Her first novel, The Grass Dancer, was published in 1994 and awarded the PEN/Hemingway Prize. Her second book, Roofwalker, was published in 2001 and awarded the Milkweed National Fiction Prize. She currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.