The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

Violet Duncan

NEA Big Read Partner 2021

About Violet Duncan

Violet Duncan is Plains Cree and Taino from Kehewin Cree Nation. She has toured nationally and internationally as a dancer and storyteller. Violet is a former "Miss Indian World", representing all Indigenous people of North America. Violet is currently the Indigenous curator at the Tempe Center for the Arts where she aims to create space for a permanent program of Indigenous performance and practice. After becoming a mother of 4 and seeing the need for Native representation in literature, she took it upon herself to author three award winning children's books, I am Native, When We Dance and Lets Hoop Dance!. Her newest book I am Native, released 2020, shares a glimpse into the wonderful world of multigenerational Native family. This book showcases beautiful imagery of family members passing down traditions in both traditional and modern ways. She has recently joined the family of Random House with two new children’s books coming out 2022. You can find her sharing her curriculum I am Native: Lesson Plans, to help educators gain more insight into a culturally literate classroom. Find out more about Violet at

About NEA Big Read

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. This event is presented as part the NEA Big Read: Phoenix, celebrating Indigenous literary arts and culture in the Valley with over 25 talks, workshops, performances, book clubs, art exhibits other virtual events inspired by The Round House by Louise Erdrich. NEA Big Read: Phoenix is presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University with additional support from Arizona Humanities, Phoenix Public Library, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Humanities Division at ASU. Find events, meet our partners, and start reading today at

Support Indigenous Communities

The Phoenix Indian Center is the oldest American Indian non-profit organization of its kind in the United States, providing workforce development, cultural enrichment, and other vital services to Indigenous communities throughout the Valley for over 70 years. To support their work, visit their website at, click the donate button, enter an amount, and enter "NEA Big Read" in the description. Please consider making a gift to the Phoenix Indian Center today.

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