Labriola Center Celebrates Native American Heritage Month with Events and Exhibit

October 26, 2022

November is Native American Heritage Month, and while this annual celebration brings heightened awareness, at ASU, the recognition doesn’t end after the month is over.

“Here at the Labriola Center, we celebrate Indigenous people every day and every month of the year,” said Alexandre Soto (Tohono O’odham), Director of Labriola American Indian National Data Center.

The Labriola National American Indian Data Center team (left to right): Yitazba Largo-Anderson, Alexander Soto, Eric Hardy and Vina Begay. Photo by Kyle Knox
Download Full Image

“As an Indigenous library, our staff seeks to enhance the visibility of our community through culturally relevant events, services and resources. NAHMNative American Heritage Month gives us the opportunity to shed more light on what we are doing for the other eleven months of the year. For us, we believe it is vital to make room and space for indigenity throughout ASU,” Soto said.

During Native American Heritage Month, the Labriola Center crew organizes a series of events for students, staff and the community.

For Yitazba Largo-Andersonthe first thing that comes to mind when you think of Center Labriola is the community.

“At Center Labriola, we prioritize the community. At the library and at our events, we invite people to come together to have conversations, be creative, and center our Indigenous ways of knowing,” said Largo-Anderson, Diné Nation member and campus program coordinator. from West.

Working as a student librarian, Utohna Francis (Diné) connects Indigenous students to Labriola Center resources and events.

“My experience working for the Labriola Center has been an exciting experience filled with so much light,” Francis said. “It’s such an amazing sight to see Indigenous scholars coming together, learning cultural knowledge and making friendships. I hope that students will be more aware of tribal nations, their history and their resilience at future NAHM events.

Tempe Campus Events

West Campus Events

Tribute to the life of Jean Chaudhuri at ArtSpace West Gallery

portrait of Jean Chaudhuri

Portrait of Jean Chaudhuri. Credit: ASU Library Jean Chaudhuri Fund.

This year includes a special exhibition at ArtSpace West Gallery on the ASU West campus, in partnership with New College’s School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.

The exhibition “What is life?” celebrates Native American community leader, author and storyteller Jean Chaudhuri.

“What is life? comes from the title of a poem by Chaudhuri, whose work highlights a central element of her life: what it means to give back to her community from an Indigenous perspective.

“Several years ago, Jean’s papers were donated to Labriola, and as I went through them this year, I was struck by how ahead of his time Jean was,” says librarian and archivist Vina Begay ( Dine). story of how she helped preserve the Phoenix Indian School. When a proposed land swap threatened to demolish the school, Jean organized a preservation coalition to ensure that the history of the Phoenix Indian School was not erased.

Chaudhuri was a citizen of the Muscogee-Creek Nation and in 1972 became director of the Traditional Indian Alliance for Greater Tucson and executive director of the Tucson Indian Center.

Author, playwright and poet, she wrote the comic play “The Indians discover Christopher Columbus” for the 500th anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus on this continent. Chaudhuri wrote the book “A Sacred Path: The Muscogee Creek Path” with her husbandnd, Joyotpaul “Joy” Chaudhuri.

“Jean Chaudhuri was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013. This exhibition allows us to share his collection with the community, so that others understand the love, passion and care she had for the Indigenous community here in Phoenix and Tucson,” Begay said. “Visitors can spend time exploring Jean’s correspondence, photographs, creative writings and other programs and services she created during her lifetime.

A special opening reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9 at the ArtSpace West gallery that will feature readings by Chaudhuri’s family. The installation is free to the public and open until November 23.

Books that engage Indigenous scholars and authors

The Labriola Center collections provide resources to support student and faculty academic success, including the preservation and curation of Indigenous knowledge and awareness.

“We offer collections at Hayden Library and Fletcher Library for everyone to explore,” Largo-Anderson said. “You can find contemporary books by Indigenous authors and artists, including poetry and fiction as well as some notable fanzines and graphic novels from our collection.

During the fall, two book displays will be highlighted. At the Fletcher Library, an exhibit dedicated to Jean Chaudhuri’s issues and advocacy will be located on the first floor.

At the Hayden Library, visitors can find the “Information is Sacred” book exhibit on the second floor, next to the O’odham storytelling table. Created for the Arizona State Bureau of Indian Education’s Indigenous Peoples Day Symposium, the exhibit guides visitors through a series of questions to interact with the books on display.

Books stacked on a table and displayed on shelves

“Information is Sacred” book display on the second floor of the Hayden Library. Credit: Center Labriola.

“The expression ‘Information is sacred’ comes from the Labriola Center assignment which means Indigenous knowledge is important to our communities and cultural values. Whether it’s art, music or text, these should be treated with respect,” Largo-Anderson said.

The staff and team of student librarians will continue to grow and share more exciting events and initiatives.

“Community development through cultural resilience is central to what we do at Labriola,” said program coordinator Eric Hardy (Diné). “Our staff and student staff strive to create safe community spaces that culturally resonate with ASU’s Indigenous students and community. . Our events and activities serve as entry points into our community. Come to our events and activities to learn more about what we do and follow us on our social media platforms.

The Labriola Center is located at Hayden Library on Tempe Campus and Fletcher Library on West Campus. To keep up to date with events and news, visit Labriola Center website.


Comments are closed.