Institute for American Indian Research

The Institute for American Indian Research (IFAIR) at the University of New Mexico will host its fourth Indigenous Book Festival: Beyond Stereotype, Prejudice, & Racism, March 3-4, 2016, celebrating the work of contemporary Indigenous poets, novelists, scholars, and writers. 

This festival is supported by The Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies and by a grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council. Some highlighted activities for the festival include a keynote address by Professor C. Matthew Snipp of Stanford University at 11:45 a.m. on March 3, a film presentation of Mekko directed by Sterlin Harjo on March 4 at 3 p.m., and 12 dialogue presentations featuring writers/scholars such as Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, Suzan Shown Harjo, Gregory Cajete, and Glen Coulthard. All festival events are free and open to the public. 

The 2016 Indigenous Book Festival will be the fourth event of its kind. The inaugural Indigenous Book Festival in 2010 brought together more than 300 UNM students, faculty, and community members to experience, discuss, and celebrate Native American literature in a range of forms and traditions. Based on the success of the inaugural event, IFAIR organized a second festival in 2012 and a third biennial event in 2014.

As one community member explained in the evaluation, the Indigenous Book Festival provided a stimulating forum on “utilizing storytelling to transform positive change.” Another audience member described the book festival as “very informative as well as inspiring.” Others recommended that IFAIR “continue to have this Festival yearly” and “continue to build on this outstanding work.”

Although there are academic conferences that focus on Native American literature, such as the Native American Literature Symposium, we are unaware of any other book festival in the nation that focuses specifically on Indigenous literary arts or any scholarly venue that is as welcoming to non-academic audiences.  

The 2016 Indigenous Book Festival will feature: C. Matthew Snipp (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, Scott Manning Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk), Kiara Vigil, Robin Minthorn (Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Apache, Nez Perce, Umatilla, and Assiniboine), Shawn Secatero (Canoncito Band of Navajo), Tanaya Winder (Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute), Nancy Marie Mithlo, Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip), Gregory A. Cajete (Santa Clara Pueblo), Ofelia Zepeda (Tohono O’odham), Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee), Tsianina Lomawaima (Mvskoke and Creek Nation), Teresa McCarty, Glen Coulthard (Yellowknives Dene First Nation), Dory Nason (Anishinaabe), Arlene Hirschfelder, Yvonne Wakim Dennis (Cherokee), Paulette Molin (Chippewa), Arigon Starr (Kickapoo), Ricardo Cate (Kewa Pueblo), Laura Evans, Vicente Miguel Diaz (Filipino-Pohnpeian), Eve Tuck (Aleut), Sterlin Harjo (Seminole), N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa), Luci Tapahonso (Navajo), Amanda Blackhorse (Navajo), Jennifer Denetdale (Navajo), Beverly Singer (Santa Clara Pueblo/Navajo), and Steve Verney (Tsimshian).

For more information, visit the IFAIR website, on twitter @IFAIRbookfest, or contact Dr. Lloyd Lee at (505) 277-1822 or triplel@unm.edu.