The Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries (FSL) 2020 lecture series continues on March 19th with Laura Tohe presenting “More Than Pocahontas: Indigenous Women Coming into Visibility.” This visual presentation shows how Indigenous American women have contributed to Arizona and the United States, yet remain invisible in the media and stereotyped in early films. Nevertheless, they have been honored in all areas of public service – law, medicine, literature, military, education, and activism with awards such as the Presidential Freedom Medal and the MacArthur Fellowship.
Among some traditional tribal cultures, women’s lives are modeled after female heroes and sacred women who exemplify and express courage and kinship. Rites of passage celebrate female creativity and the transformative nature of women, hence there was no need for the concept of feminism. Professor Tohe will discuss these and other cultural aspects of indigenous culture and how women have contributed in significant ways, not only to their tribal nations, but to contemporary American life as well.
Laura Tohe is a librettist and award-winning poet. Her books include No Parole Today, Meeting the Spirit of Water, Sister Nation, Deep in the Rock and Code Talker Stories. Her commissioned libretto, Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio was performed by the Phoenix symphony. Her newest work, Nahasatzaan, made its world premiere in France in 2019. Laura Tohe is Professor Emeritus with Distinction at Arizona State University and was the Navajo Nation Poet Laureate for 2018-2019.
The lecture starts at 4 p.m. at DesertView. There will be no cost for this lecture.