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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 2015 Program | NALS 2014 Program | NALS 2013 Program | NALS 2012 Program |

Past Speakers and Events

2016 Program


The Native American Literature Symposium 2016

March 17th - 19th

Isleta Resort

Albuquerque, New Mexico



2016 Keynote Speakers

Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) is a writer, director, actor, and visual artist from Oklahoma. His feature film "The Butchers" was released Nov 2014.  And his short film "Ronnie BoDean" staring Wes Studi in early 2015. Winner of the 2009 Creative Spirit Award, Judd's work has been included in an installment at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Although known primarily for his work in film, Judd is a prolific visual artist whose mashups merge Native experiences with the disposible nature of American pop culture.

Luci Tapahonso (Navajo) is professor of English Literature and Language at the University of New Mexico. In 2013, she was named the inaugural poet laureate of the Navajo Nation. She is the author of three children’s books and six books of poetry, including A Radiant Curve, which was awarded the Arizona Book Award for Poetry in 2009. Tapahonso’s work has appeared in many print and media productions in the U.S. and internationally. Her poems have been translated into German, Italian and French. She was featured in Rhino Records’ CDs, “In Their Own Voices: A Century of American Poetry” and “Poetry on Record: 98 American Poets Read Their Work” and in several PBS films.

Craig Howe (Oglala Sioux) is director of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies, a nonprofit research center committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of American Indian communities and issues important to them. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and is a faculty member in the Graduate Studies Department at Oglala Lakota College. He also served as deputy assistant director for cultural resources at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, and director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He has developed innovative hypermedia tribal histories projects and creative museum exhibitions, taught Native studies courses in the U.S. and Canada, and authored articles and book chapters on numerous topics, including tribal histories, Native studies, museum exhibitions, and community collaborations. Howe was raised and lives on his family’s cattle ranch on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.


2015 Keynote Speakers

Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfeet) is the author of 15 novels, 6 collections, and more than 200 stories.  He has been a Shirley Jackson Award finalist three times, a Bram Stoker Award finalist and received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in fiction. His most recent books include, Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly (Dzanc, with Paul Tremblay), After the People Lights Have Gone Off (horror collection, Dark House), and Growing up Dead in Texas (MP publishing).  He teaches creative writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Frances Washburn (Lakota/Anishinabe) is the author of The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band.  Wasburn was born and raised on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  She is also the author of two previous novels, Elsie’s Business and The Sacred White Turkey, and is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the American Indian Studies department at the University of Arizona.


2014 Keynote Speakers

National Book Award Winner Louise Erdrich

Eric Gansworth Author of the Young Adult Novel If I Ever Get Out of Here

First Nations Manitoba Writers:

David Alexander Robertson, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, and Duncan Mercredi

















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