At the conference I gave a presentation Simon Pokagon – Pokagon Potawatomi: Storyteller & Writer which was very well received. There are 58 ethnic minorities in China and they struggle with many of the same issues (language and cultural preservation, etc.) as my own tribal nation. My hosts at the conference were wonderful and very kind. It was my first trip to China and I look forward to returning in the future. The opportunities for collaboration and alliance with other indigenous people on a global level is inspiring.
The International Symposium on World Minority Literature was held on the campus of Southwest University for Nationalities (西南民族大学; SWUN), Oct. 29, 2016 in Chengdu, Sichuan. The sponsoring units were Southwest University for Nationalities and the China Ethnic Literature Society (中国少数民族文学学会). Over 40 speakers delivered papers under the headings of Oral Tradition and World Ethnic Minority Literature, Multiple Narratives and World Ethnic Minority Literature, Cross-ethnic Interaction and World Ethnic Minority Literature, and General Topics.
The chair of the meeting was Prof. Luo Qingchun (aka Aku Wuwu), dean of the Yi College at SWUN. Speakers included Prof. Wang Feng, Vice-chair of China Ethnic Literature Society, Prof. Xu Xinjian of Sichuan University, Ai Lian, Director of Sichuan Provincial Academy of Social Sciences and Secretary General of the association of Literary Critics, Native American scholar John N. Low of The Ohio State University, and others. ~ Mark Bender (The Ohio State University)
Eighth Generation, the first Native-owned company to offer wool blankets, has released a video preview of their collaborative blanket with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi (Dowagiac, MI). The Seattle-based small business has been offering wool blankets since October 2015. This groundbreaking project is Eighth Generation’s first collaboration with a tribe, and it demonstrates what is possible when Native people have ownership over all aspects of the development and manufacturing process.
On April 17th, 2016 the Newark Earthworks Center (NEC) hosted an open house at the Octagon earthworks in Newark. About 15 folks from the student American Indian studies club (AISO), students from my classes, family and friends, along with many members of the community and guests joined us for one of several wonderful tours led by Dr. Richard Shiels -former head of the NEC and now emeritas in the Department of History here at OSU-Newark. The weather was most cooperative and the tour was very engaging. On Observatory Mound some of the students laid down tobacco in thanks to Nokmeskignan (Grandmother Earth).
On Wednesday, March 16th, I had the opportunity to meet with interested students and faculty at the University of Notre Dame to discuss Imprints and do a reading from it. Everyone there was very kind and the Native American Student Assosciation of Notre Dame (NASAND) on campus honored me with a gift of a Pendleton “Chief Joseph” blanket before the event. Afterwards, I also had the opportunity to have dinner with Brian Collier, Coordinator of Supervision and Instruction at the University, and officers of the NASAND. I really appreciated the questions asked and the opportunity to share some of my experiences and research, as well as, hearing of the experiences for American Indian students and those interested in American Indian Studies at Notre Dame.
John N. Low, JD, Ph.D.
With Notre Dame students and their wonderful gift. L to R: Dominic Acri, James Weitzel, me, and Rosalie DePaola.