Award-winning Native American authors Kimberly Blaeser and Gordon Henry Jr. will speak on the Cal Poly campus Friday at 4:10 p.m. in the Agricultural Engineering building, room 123
of The pair will give a presentation titled “Intellectual Property Rights: The Inheritance of Family Narrative in Native America.”
The presentation will focus on the history of the narrative in Native American culture and its subsequent effects.
Both Blaeser and Henry are of Anishinaabe ancestry and members of the White Earth Chippewa tribe of Minnesota, and Blaeser was raised on the White Earth reservation.
The Anishinaabe is comprised of indigenous peoples throughout the American Northwest and southwest Canada.
Blaeser earned master’s and doctorate degrees in English from the University of Notre Dame. She is now an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and teaches courses in Native American literature, creative writing and american nature writing.
She is also the author of three books, including “Stories Migrating Home: A Collection of Anishinaabe Prose,” which she co-authored with Henry. She has also won the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award for her work on “Trailing You,” a collection of poems, which was published in 1998.
Henry is an associate professor at in English and American Studies at Michigan State University. He was nominated for a National Book Award in 1994 for his book “The Light People,” a novel that Kirkus Reviews described as a “multifaceted view of contemporary Chippewa life through the device of a boy searching for his parents.”
Cal Poly ethnic studies professor Elvira Pulitano is responsible for bringing the duo to campus. Pulitano met the pair at a conference that was held in both France and Spain.
“I actually teach some of their material in my classes, I think it will be an interesting opportunity for students and everyone to come and hear them speak. They are both very well- known in the field,” Pulitano said.