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.
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!
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)
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.
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.
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, 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.
“Written in engaging prose by a Pokagon Potawatomi tribal intellectual and activist, John N. Low’s Imprints will forever change the way you think of Chicago. This is not only a sophisticated narrative of the inextricable relations of Native peoples to historical and contemporary urban spaces but also the story of a stubborn tribe who insisted on making and maintaining places for themselves all around their southern Lake Michigan homeland.”
—Brian Klopotek, author of Recognition Odysseys: Indigeneity, Race, and Federal Tribal Recognition Policy in Three Louisiana Indian Communities
“Every American city is built on Indian land and today most Native American people live in urban places, yet urban Indigenous histories remain largely hidden. John N. Low’s work is a corrective to this, showing us that Chicago has a rich Potawatomi past—and present. From cultural persistence to political activism, the Potawatomi have left a mark on the city that, after reading Imprints, will be almost impossible to forget.”
—Coll Thrush, author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place