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Welcome to the Native American Literature Symposium Website

With literature as a crossroads where many forms of knowledge meet—art, history, politics, science, religion—we welcome once again spirited participation on all aspects of Native American studies. We invite proposals for individual papers, panel discussions, readings, exhibits, demonstrations, and workshops, as well as retrospectives and forecasts for the future of the literatures of Indigenous peoples.

NALS 2012 Program



2012 Preliminary Program | Pre-NALS IAIA Conference | NALS 2011 Program | Past Speakers and Events


The Native American Literature Symposium 2012
March 29-31
Hard Rock Albuquerque
Albuquerque, New Mexico

We will celebrate IAIA's 50th anniversary and
consider the 100th anniversary of statehood in New Mexico.

Pre-NALS IAIA Conference Information Here

Preliminary Program available here.


NALS 2012 Keynote Speakers

Saanii Adil’ini (Tacey M. Atsitty)

Thursday, March 29
Lunch: 11:30 to 1:00

Saanii Adil'iniTacey M. Atsitty, Diné, from Cove, Arizona is Tsénahabiłnii (Sleep Rock People)and born forTa'neeszahnii (Tangle People). She is a recipient of the Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, the Corson-Browning Poetry Prize, and Morning Star Creative Writing Award. She holds bachelor degrees from Brigham Young University and the Institute of American Indian Arts.

She is a recent graduate of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Cornell University. She currently teaches English and Native American Studies at San Juan College in Farmington, NM. Her work has appeared in Florida Review, Drunken Boat, Talking Stick: Native Arts Quarterly, New Poets of the American West Anthology and other publications. Her chapbook "Amenorrhea" came out February 2009 by Counting Coup Press.


Myla Vicenti Carpio

Friday, March 30
Lunch: 12:15 to 1:30

Myla Vicenti CarpioMyla Vicenti Carpio is of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and from Laguna and Isleta Pueblos in New Mexico. After completing her undergraduate work at the University of New Mexico in 1992. Dr. Vicenti Carpio earned a master’s degree in history from Arizona State University.  Continuing her educational career at ASU, Myla went on to receive her Ph.D. in history in 2001.

Myla currently works as an Assistant Professor in the American Indian Studies Department at Arizona State University. Her courses include Introduction to American Indian Studies, Issues in Urban Indian Country, American Indian Studies Research Methods, and Readings in Colonization/Decolonization. Her research areas include Indigenous history, urban issues, gender and sexuality, and decolonization.


LeAnne Howe

Friday, March 30
Dinner: 6:00 to 9:00

"Writing on the Crest of Revolution: A Choctaw in King Abdullah's Court"

howeLeAnne Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, scholarship, and plays that deal with native experiences. Author of three awarding winning books, (including the American Book Award, and the Oklahoma Book Award). Howe’s fiction appears in Fiction International, Callaloo, Story, Yalobusha Review, Kenyon Review, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere. Her work has been translated in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

Recent artistic and scholarly accomplishments include: the William J. Fulbright Scholarship to Amman Jordan, 2010-2011 to research a new novel set during the Arab Revolt in 1917; on March 5, 2011, Howe was Awarded Tulsa Library Trust’s “American Indian Author Award” at Central Library, Tulsa, OK. Returned from Jordan to receive the award.

In June, 2011: NAISA (Native American and Indigenous Studies Association) voted Reasoning Together, The Native Critics Collective, one of the ten most influential books in the first decade of the twenty-first century by the membership of over 800 scholars. Howe’s chapter, “Blind Bread and the Business of Theorymaking By Embarrassed Grief as Told by LeAnne Howe”. . . . appears in the collection - a short story couched within literary criticism. In November 2011, she was named by Maynard Institute for Journalism Education as one of 30 American Indians authors to celebrate the works of, during November’s Native American Heritage Month.

In 2007, Howe appeared on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on Comedy Central in a news segment about sports mascots titled, Trail of Cheers. [She’s afraid this might be the pinnacle of her career.] She was the John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi at Oxford, MS, 2006-2007. Her plays have been performed at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and in New York at the Smithsonian.

Currently, when not gallivanting around the Middle East, Howe is a Professor of English, American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois, and former Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing. She makes her homes in Ada, Oklahoma; Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, and most recently Amman, Jordan.



Simon Ortiz

Saturday, March 31
Lunch: 12:30 to 1:30

Simon Ortiz Simon J. Ortiz writes poetry and prose that is at once honest and unfettered, and yet challenging. Using the simplest of language, Ortiz evokes the most complex feelings, and often a longing for the experiences about which he writes. In much of his work he maintains a simple tone that belies the adversity of his life. What Ortiz writes is important because he is teaching the art of experience, and doing it through language. Not suprisingly, he believes language is an important vehicle for finding and knowing who we are and professes a strong belief in the power of the oral traditions of his people. Although his words often seem innocent, the observations he makes could only come from one who has known the harshness of reality. That he manages such a firm belief in the power of experience and spirituality in the face of difficulty, is something well worth learning, a lesson that Ortiz, as well as Native Americans have to teach





September 21, 2011
Ojibwe Language Book at National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

An Ojibwe language book has been chosen as a Best Read of 2011 for the National Book Festival at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This is the first book with no English to be chosen.

"Awesiinyensag: Dibaajimowinan Ji-gikinoo'amaageng" (Wiigwaas Press, 2011) is a young reader Ojibwe-language book. Twelve writers, co-editors Jim Cihlar and Anton Treuer and illustrator Wesley Ballinger depict animals in situations that will resonate with readers from many backgrounds. Aside from telling great stories, the book helps teach Ojibwe, Anishinaabemowin, to children as well as anyone else interested in learning the language.


September 16, 2011
Why Treaties Matter - A New Exhibition at Leech Lake Tribal College

A new exhibition at Leech Lake Tribal college explains the history of American Indian treaties and how they are still valuable in contemporary Dakota and Ojibwe culture in Minnesota. Our own Ginny Carney spoke about the exhibition and the importance of teaching others about treaties.

Youtube Video: In Focus Why Treaties Matter - Lakeland News at Ten
Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations (Minnesota Humanities Council)


August 25, 2011
Vote for Moccasins and Microphones - Native American Music Award

The Santa Fe Indian School's Spoken Word team's CD "Moccasins and Microphones" has been entered into the Native American Music Awards ("Nammys") in five categories! Two of these categories are open to the public for voting.

If you have a moment and you'd like to vote for our album, please visit: and you'll find 'Santa Fe Indian School Spoken Word Team" under Debut Group of the Year and Record of the Year.

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