Exploring what it means to be Native American

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Over the next few months, we will join other community organizations in North Central Washington to explore what it means to be Native American, an initiative sparked by a traveling display of images taken by the famed photographer of Native Americans Edward S. Curtis that will visit the region later this year.

Several guest artists, musicians and speakers will give presentations at many of our libraries as part of the community conversation, called Beyond the Frame: To Be Native, that will explore Native American identity, race and resilience, art and culture.

The programs will include:

Jessica Maucione: Writing in the Margins

Humans have evolved and maintained our integrity as a species because of our ability to collectively create and tell stories. But what happens when those stories divide, segregate, and 

even encourage violence among us? Understand the narratives of contemporary literature, film, and popular culture that separate the human species along manufactured racial lines.

In this talk, professor Jessica Maucione discusses texts that celebrate and explore white characters, in contrast to—and at the expense of—black and brown characters whose dehumanization is sometimes blatant, but often incredibly subtle. She talks about ways we can seek out narratives that counter this white-centered approach, with the goal of making us more responsible consumers of dominant narratives, better role models, and more connected human beings.

Jessica Maucione is associate professor of English and women’s and gender studies and has a PhD from Washington State University. She currently teaches at Gonzaga University where she also co-directs the Underrepresented Minority Post-doctoral Fellowship program. 

  • Grand  Coulee Public Library: Nov. 19, 6 p.m.
  • Quincy Public Library: Nov. 4, 3 p.m.
  • Wenatchee Public Library: Nov. 20, 6:30 p.m.

Gary Stroutsos: Music and storytelling

Renowned flutist Gary Stroutsos is known for his haunting work on the Native American Flute, and is acknowledged to have made a significant contribution to the preservation of 

American Indian music and culture. Himself a Greek-Italian-American, Stroutsos has had the rare opportunity to journey into the indigenous cultures and communities of North America, where he learned how to play the Native American Flute. Lakota, Mandan-Hidatsa, Navajo and Salish Kootenai Elders asked him to set their songs to his flute, which has  been invaluable in the development of insight and the character of authenticity that his recordings embody.

Stroutsos has worked and recorded with many American Indian artists, including collaborating with Navajo flute maker Paul Thompson, a work which expresses the enduring legacy of the American Indian flute and its recent reintroduction into today’s society.

  • Chelan Public Library: Dec. 18 
  • Leavenworth Public Library: Dec. 19, 3 p.m.
  • Moses Lake Public Library: Dec. 17, 3 p.m.
  • Wenatchee Public Library: Dec. 20, 2 p.m.
NCRL is one of several NCW community partners in the Beyond the Frame initiative including:
Check out our Beyond the Frame NCW Facebook Page for all related programs and events in our region. Check out the Beyond the Frame website for all related programs, events, and partners both in NCW and in the Puget Sound.