Category Archives: Talks & Presentations

The Power of Place The Potawatomi, Chicago and Wheaton: Friday, December 8th, 4:00 pm, Wheaton College

The Power of Place

Working Hard During National Native American Heritage Month

I had the honor to be the keynote speaker for National Native American Heritage Month celebrations at Wright State University, the Ohio National Guard, and Defiance College this month. At each venue I was impressed with the desire of the audiences to learn more about the indigenous peoples of the United States.

2017-AIHM-program

I was also interviewed by Michigan Public Radio for their program “Stateside with Cynthia Canty.”  broadcast  in Ann Arbor (the statewide NPR affiliate). Stateside includes a  Michigan History Center (MHC) production of a weekly Michigan History segment. With November being Native American History month, the folks at the Michigan History Center and the station wanted to do a couple of history segments focusing on Native Michiganders. I joined Cynthia and the MHC’s Sandra Clark to discuss the story of Leopold Pokagon and how decisions he made in the 1800s still impact lives today. Here is a link to the program:

Leopold Pokagon: How a band of Potawatomi converted to Catholicism and avoided removal

I also had the opportunity to participate in the symposium “Collaborative Curation of North American Human Remains.” at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago this month. Participants included museum professional and tribal nation representatives, as well as those like myself who have written about and/or engaged in repatriation efforts. While it was obvious to me that there is much work to yet be done to get everyone on the same page, I was heartened by the sincere effort that everyone made to listen to the views and suggestions of others. Special thanks to Helen Robbins from the Field Museum for inviting me!

“The Art of Ngatu: Tradition, Innovation and Community in Polynesia” at the Ohio State University – Newark.

It was my honor to co-curate with Marcus Boroughs an exhibit presenting the aesthetic beauty of tapa/ngatu weavings with block printed art reflecting iconic imagery of Oceania. It is quickly obvious that these artistic creations take a community to construct. A sense of connection, tradition, and pride fills the LeFevre Gallery at the Newark campus. The exhibit is free and open to the public until May 1, 2018.

“The Art of Ngatu: Tradition, Innovation and Community in Polynesia” comprises original artwork, traditional tapa (beaten bark cloth), photography, film, and ephemera. Exhibition content focuses on artists Dame Robin White (New Zealand) and Ruha Fifita (Tonga), their process and practice in Polynesia.  Collaborating with communities of indigenous women, the artists use traditional methods to produce tapa while also incorporating innovation and contemporary narratives related to the history of Polynesian communities.” (From the prospectus.)

Maori Exhibit BrochureJ

NU-NAISA commemorates the 153rd Sand Creek Massacre anniversary (Northwestern University)

NAISA commemorates the 153rd Sand Creek Massacre anniversary

Was an invited speaker to this amazing event. Story linked above.

Without Native Americans, Would We Have Chicago As We Know It? (WBEZ Story)

Without Native Americans, Would We Have Chicago As We Know It?

Names like DuSable, Marquette, and Joliet are cited in the history books. But it was Native Americans who first set the foundation for Chicago to develop into a major Midwestern metropolis.

I was recently interviewed for this great story (audio and text linked above) on Native contributions to the city of Chicago.

chicago_1820_onwhite-mr_jluhltv Between 1790 and 1830, Europeans and Americans, and their Native American spouses, established a small trading community at the mouth of the Chicago river. (Courtesy Library of Congress)

Meet the Author, John Low, Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians at the Newberry Library, Chicago December 7th

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

6 to 7:30 pm

Ruggles Hall

Free and open to the public. Registration required.

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians has been a part of Chicago since its founding. In very public expressions of indigeneity, they have refused to hide in plain sight or assimilate. Instead, throughout the city’s history, the Pokagon Potawatomi Indians have openly and aggressively expressed their refusal to be marginalized or forgotten—and in doing so, they have contributed to the fabric and history of the city.

Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago examines the ways some Pokagon Potawatomi tribal members have maintained a distinct Native identity, their rejection of assimilation into the mainstream, and their desire for inclusion in the larger contemporary society without forfeiting their “Indianness.” Mindful that contact is never a one-way street, Dr. Low also examines the ways in which experiences in Chicago have influenced the Pokagon Potawatomi. Imprints continues the recent scholarship on the urban Indian experience before as well as after World War II.

After his talk, Dr. Low will sign copies of the book. Imprints will be available in the Newberry Bookstore; your purchase helps to support the Newberry Library and this program’s featured author.

Download a PDF flyer for this event to post and distribute.

John N. Low (Pokagon Potawatomi) is Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University Newark, where his research and teaching encompass many aspects of American Indian histories, literatures, and cultures. He has previously served as Executive Director of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Indians of the Midwest Project at the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library, and on the State of Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force. He continues to serve as a member of his tribe’s Traditions & Repatriation Committee.

3rd Annual Native American and Indigenous Community Dinner, Northwestern University, May 7th, 2017

Northwestern University’s Multicultural Student Affairs, in partnership with the Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance, has invited me to the 3rd Annual Native American and Indigenous Community Dinner on Sunday, May 7th, from 5pm-7pm. As a founding advisor and inspiration for the creation of NAISA. the student Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance, I have been asked to speak briefly at the celebration. The event will be located on the Evanston campus in Scott Hall’s Guild Lounge, 601 University Place.

SP17_NU_3rd Annual Native Community Dinner_flyer

Ball State University Anthropology Student Symposium Friday, March 31, 2017

The Ball State University Anthropology Student Symposium held Friday, March 31, 2017: Muncie, Indiana.

I was honored to provide a keynote address and was most impressed with the quality of student scholarship at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at BSU! Thank you again to everyone who I had the pleasure to meet at the daylong event!

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International Symposium on World Minority Literature: Chengdu, China

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Photo: (l to r) Prof. Xu Xinjian, Prof. Juan Carlos Galeano, Prof. Wen Peihong, Prof. Mark Bender, Prof. John N. Low, Prof. Liu Daxin, Zhang Haibin, Prof. Aku Wuwu (Luo Qingchun), Aniu Muzhi.

International Symposium on World Minority Literature – Chengdu, China

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)

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Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous Knowhow for Global Flourishing September 11-15, 2016 | University of Notre Dame

Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous Knowhow for Global Flourishing

September 11-15, 2016 | University of Notre Dame

Sunday September 11 – 4:00-5:00

History of the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi

by Dr. John Low

Sustainable_Wisdom

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Visit to the Olentangy Indian Caverns

Olentangy 4.30.16

On Saturday, April 30th, the AISO – the American Indian studies club at OSUN – group along with other friends and family ventured to the Olentangy Indian Caverns, just north of Columbus. We talked about power and representation; commodification of culture; Indians as tourist attractions and Midwestern kitsch. Wish it had been a bit warmer but it was very thought provoking. The best surprise – the caves themselves were pretty impressive.

Cave Olentangy 4.30.16

Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago and the Trickster Art Gallery in Schaumburg on Saturday, May 21, 2016

Links:

John N. Low discusses Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago.

RSVP HERE

Coming to Trickster May 21st, John N. Low will be reading from and discussing his recent book ‘Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi & the City of Chicago’. 

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Many Thanks, Notre Dame: March 16th, 2016

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.

Migwetch!

John N. Low, JD, Ph.D.

Notre Dame

With Notre Dame students and their wonderful gift. L to R: Dominic Acri, James Weitzel, me, and Rosalie DePaola.

Reading & discussion from Imprints at Notre Dame on March 16th & Southwestern Michigan College on March 17th

A reading & discussion from  Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians & the City of Chicago on Wednesday, March 16th, 5:00 to 6:00 PM, 108A Riley Hall, University of Notre Dame

John Low Poster

Notre Dame Poster (pdf)

Thursday, March 17, at Southwestern Michigan College’s Dowagiac campus.

At 2 p.m. in the theater of the Dale A. Lyons Building there will be a Pokagon Band art reception, book signing and academic speaker series presentation by John Low.