2018 GIA Conference
Race, Space, and Place
Oakland, CA  |  October 21–24

The Sovereign Now

Native artists on the frontlines of social justice

Tuesday, October 23, 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Intertribal Friendship House (523 International Blvd, Oakland, CA, 94606)

Organized and moderated by Reuben Tomás Roqueñi, director of National Artist Fellowships, Native Arts and Cultures.

Presented by Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota), poet; Cannupa Haska Luger (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara/Lakota), multidisciplinary artist; Anthony Hudson (Grand Ronde), performance artist; and Allison Warden (Iñupiaq), performance artist.

This session will focus on the intersection between the arts and social justice efforts in indigenous communities throughout the United States. The session will feature Native Arts and Culture Foundation (NAFC) National Artist Fellows: Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota), whose poem WHEREAS challenged an official “apology” to Native Americans by the United States federal government; Allison Warden aka AKU-MATU (Iñupiaq), whose hip-hop performances embody different characters including an Ancestor from the Future and a polar bear who laments, “Oh, Where Did All the Ice Go?”; Anthony Hudson aka Carla Rossi (Grand Ronde), whose solo show Looking for Tiger Lily confronts white supremacy, complacency, and the confusion of “mixed” identities; and Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa/Arikara/Lakota), whose “Mirror Shields” were part of protest actions at Standing Rock Reservation. This panel will delve into tactics Native artists are taking up to push back on centuries of cultural oppression. We will revisit the Occupation of Alcatraz (1969-71), a significant moment in Bay Area indigenous activism. John Trudell, Lakota activist on Alcatraz said, “We must be willing in our lifetime to deal with reality. It’s not revolution we’re after; it’s liberation. We want to be free of a value system that’s being imposed upon us. We do not want to participate in that value system. We don’t want to change that value system. We want to remove it from our lives forever. Liberation. We want to be free.”