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N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear with Traci Morris

Date(s): Monday, March 9, 2019, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
FilmBar, 815 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Film Screening
Genre and Form(s): American Indian, Indigenous, Literature
Cost: $9.95

About this Event

Journey into the mind and soul of Native America’s most celebrated author of poetry and prose with N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear, a feature-length documentary exploring the life of Pulitzer Prize winning author Navarro Scott Momaday on Monday, March 9, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at FilmBar (815 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004)

Featuring interviews with Rilla Askew, Joy Harjo, Jeff Bridges, James Earle Jones, and more, N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear visually captures the essence of Momaday’s writings and storytelling, relating each written line to his unique Kiowa/American experience representing ancestry, place, and oral history. 

The film will be introduced by Traci Morris, director of the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University. An informal conversation and Q&A will follow in the lounge after the event. Tickets are $9.95. As seating is limited, we strongly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance.

About the Book

N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear is a fresh and distinctive approach to biographical storytelling. Cinematically, this story takes audiences on a spiritual journey through the expansive landscapes of the West, when Momaday’s Kiowa ancestry roamed the Great Plains with herds of buffalo, to the sand-painted valleys of Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico where his imagination ripened and he showed superior writing skills as a young mission student. The biography will give a thorough survey of Momaday’s most prolific years as a doctorate fellow at Stanford University, his achievement of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1969, and his later works that solidified his place as the founding member of the “Native American Renaissance” in art and literature, influencing a generation of Native American artists, scholars, and political activists.

Although his unique heritage is a central theme of the narrative, Momaday’s work asks the questions every audience can relate to: what are our origins and how do we connect to them through our collective memories? Through his literature and the cinematic visuals, the film will illuminate how Momaday has grappled with these basic questions of human existence and his own identity. The film will reveal the most intimate details of the writer’s personal life as revealed through his literary texts, along with the trials and tribulations he faced as a Native American artist in the twentieth and twenty first century. Historical photos, original animation, and stunning aerials of landscapes, will complement captivating interviews with Robert Redford, Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges, James Earle Jones, and Joy Harjo, to bring audiences inside the creative core of this American Master. (Rainy Day Media)

About the Speaker

Photograph of Traci Morris

Traci L Morris is is the director of the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) at Arizona State University and a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Under her leadership, the AIPI has grown and diversified its service to Indian Country via an MOU formalizing a long-standing  partnership with the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) and forming the Tribal Economic Leadership Program offering training in Tribal Economic Governance and Tribal Financial Management; access to entrepreneurship training and tribal business support through Inno-Nations; and Economic Development Consulting; and, the formalization of the Institute via by-laws and an advisory board comprised of both internal ASU leadership and external tribal and non-tribal leadership.

In her work at both ASU and prior, Morris has worked with Native American tribes; Tribal businesses; Native American non-profits; Native media makers, artists, and galleries; written a college-accredited curriculum in Native American new media; and has advocated for digital inclusion at the Federal Communications Commission and on Capitol Hill.

Morris’s research and publications on Native American media and the digital divide is focused on Internet use, digital inclusion, network neutrality, digital and new media curriculums, digital inclusion and development of broadband networks in Indian Country. Her book, "Native American Voices: A Reader," continues to be a primary teaching tool in colleges throughout the country.

Professor Morris is affiliated faculty at ASU's School for the Future of Innovation in Society, an affiliate of ASU's Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology,  a senior sustainability scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, president of the board of the Phoenix Indian Center, board member of the Arizona American Indian Chamber of Commerce, and on the Advisory Council of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.  Formerly, Morris served member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Labor's Native American Employment and Training Council and served a two-year appointment (2014-2016 and 2010-2012) on the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer Advisory Committee.

As an entrepreneur prior to her ASU appointment, Morris founded Homahota Consulting LLC  a national Native American woman-owned professional services firm working in policy analysis, telecommunications, education, and research assisting tribes in their nation-building efforts and working with Native Nations, tribal businesses and those businesses working with tribes. 

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