Posts Tagged 'Hopi'

Historians have their books

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My library. A mix of books on the Hopi, Indian education, American sport studies, Southwest Indian studies, American Indian studies, American West, and Native American history (broadly).

Over the years I have amassed a large collection of books on the Hopi. My bookcases give evidence of this obsession.

Even as I write, I am looking at these books, and they are looking back at me. Some are on Hopi religious ceremonies, language, and history. Two of them I wrote.

Still others are biographical accounts, written during a bygone time in American history.  Regardless of topic or genre, they are a reminder of those who came before and after me.

A canon that I have contributed to and have grown to appreciate. A foundation that I have built on, but that has also shaped and built me.

Carpenters have their saws and chisels.

Historians?

Well, we have our books.

You are on Indian Land: Acknowledging the Traditional Homelands of Indigenous People at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

[The following land acknowledgement was part of a keynote address I gave at the Annual Celebration of Diversity Breakfast at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The event, which had over 400 people, took place on November 9, 2018. Over the years, people have approached Indigenous land acknowledgements in various ways. This is how I did it, and I am hopeful that my approach will be of some help to others.]

You are on Indian Land

Good morning everyone. It is great to be here. I am so honored by this opportunity.

I was told earlier this week that I had about 8 minutes at the mic.

And so in true Hopi fashion, I am going to keep my remarks short and sweet.

In recent months, officials and others on campus have started their public gatherings (including this gathering) by reading an official statement that acknowledges the Indigenous people who were the traditional stewards of these lands — the lands we now collectively refer to as the state of Illinois. 

It is a wonderful statement, and I am grateful for those across campus who helped create it, including my colleagues Nichole Boyd, Jamie Singson, Elizabeth Tsukahara, Dr. Rusty Barcelo, and many others. 

This morning I would like to talk about what is at the heart of this statement, but to do so in a way that reflects who I am as a Hopi person, a Native historian, and as one who has lived and worked on these lands for the past twelve years.

I hope you don’t mind me doing so. 

My former graduate advisor Clifford Trafzer at the University of California, Riverside, once began his Native American history textbook with the following words:

“Wherever you are in the Americas, you are on Indian land.”

It is difficult, I think, for those of us who work and study at the University of Illinois to remember or even understand that the land beneath our feet is “Indian land.”

We look outside the windows from our offices or places of work and we see both old and modern buildings. We walk on the pathways of our beautiful Quad, enjoy the nicely cut grass, and hear chimes from the Altgeld Hall Tower. 

Little, if anything, on this campus reminds us that we are on Indian land.

But we are.

Long before French explorers encountered Native people on these lands in the 1600s, Indigenous people were here. Some of these people included the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Wea, Miami, and Odawa, among others.  

And long before the federal government forcefully removed a number of these tribes to places such as Kansas or what was then referred to as the Oklahoma Indian Territory, the people considered these lands their home. 

It was here among the tall grasses, flowing rivers, natural springs, and rolling meadows where the aforementioned tribes learned about and understood their identity as Indigenous people. 

Their origin and migration stories tell of these lands, and give their communities meaning and purpose in life.

Back on my ancestral lands in the American Southwest, far from the corn and soybean fields of central Illinois, the land also gives testimony of the ancient ones.

Our many ceremonial sites, including our sacred mountains and springs, and places unknown to the outside world, remind my people of those who came before us.

“We were once great travelers,” elders back home have told me, “a people who ventured out and put our marks upon the country from the Pacific to Central America and beyond.”

Again, “Wherever you are in the Americas, you are on Indian land.”

Well known Lakota scholar and thinker Vine Deloria, Jr. once remarked that “American Indian people are a people of time and a people of place.” 

It is tempting, I know, for us to only associate this “place” (or these lands) with Native people of the distant past. 

But these lands have always been closely associated with their original caretakers (notice that I used the word “caretakers” and not “inhabitants”), regardless if a university or any individual acknowledges this reality. 

The land has memory, and it still speaks to us. The question, of course, is whether you and I are willing to listen?

Again, thank you for the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you this morning. 

I especially want to extend a heartfelt thanks to Assistant Vice Chancellor Gioconda Guerra Perez, Chancellor Robert Jones, Provost Andreas Cangellaris, and Dean Feng Sheng Hu in the College of LAS. 

The fact that I am standing before you today gives testimony to our current administration’s commitment to American Indian people and issues on campus. And it demonstrates the vital role Indigenous people – and yes, all people – have in creating and maintaining a truly diverse and inclusive Illinois.

Kwa’kwa

Delivered by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert at the Annual Celebration of Diversity Breakfast, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 9, 2018

 

Hopi Runners wins 2019 David J. Weber-Clements Prize

I am pleased to announce that my book on Hopi long distance runners has won the 2019 David J. Weber-Clements Center Prize for “best non-fiction book on Southwestern America.”

The award is presented annually by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies and the Western History Association. I received the award last week at the Western History Association conference, which was held at the Westgate Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

This would not have been possible without the support of many people over the years who encouraged me as I wrote and completed the book. To them, I extend a heartfelt Kwakwha!

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Making a run for the desert

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Seated at the UofI AIS Director’s Desk

I am excited to announce that I will be leaving the University of Illinois soon to begin a new appointment as Professor and Head of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona!

After 13 years at the UofI, I am finally making my way back to the Southwest and closer to family and the larger Hopi community.

I will be leaving wonderful colleagues and friends in the American Indian Studies Program and the Department of History, terrific students, and a very supportive College and campus administration.

But I will be joining a highly respected and established AIS department, a community of outstanding faculty and students, and a university (and program) that I have always wanted to work at.

Needless to say, I am thrilled to be making this run for the desert and taking part (once again) in the second wave of Hopi migration.

To the fence and back!

Hopi Runners – Preface, Acknowledgments, and Introduction

I am pleased to pass along the Preface, Acknowledgments, and Introduction to my book Hopi Runners: Crossing the Terrain between Indian and American, compliments of the University Press of Kansas. Click image to download.

Also, for those who might be interested, the University Press of Kansas is currently having a 30% off sale (and free shipping) on all books, including Hopi Runners. The sale will last from now until December 15, 2018. Use promotion code HOLI30 when you make your order. The discount and free shipping brings the cost down to about $20 for the book.

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New Book Sheds Light On Long History of Hopi Runners (91.5 KJZZ / PHX)

Hopi Runners - KJZZ

Hopis have made their mark in the world of running, author says

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© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Hopi) is Professor and Head of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona.

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Revisiting the Hopi Boarding School Experience at Sherman Institute and the Process of Making Research Meaningful to Community (JAIE, 2018)

Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010)

Introduction to Education beyond the Mesas (2010)

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images From Sherman Institute (Oregon State University Press, 2012)

Foreward to Don Talayesva’s Sun Chief: An Autobiography of A Hopi Indian (2013)

Foreword to Kevin Whalen’s Native Students at Work: American Indian Labor and Sherman Institute’s Outing Program, 1900-1945

A Second Wave of Hopi Migration (HEQ, 2014)

Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912 (WHQ, 2012). Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, Western Writers of America (2013)

Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930 (AQ, 2010)

The Hopi Followers: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909 (JAIE, 2005)

Constitution and Bylaws of the Hopi Tribe (With all amendments, click to download)

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