The Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community


Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 :: "Maria Tallchief" Lecture, Film, and Q&A
Sandy Osawa, Filmmaker, Seattle, WA

7 p.m.    |   Heard Museum Downtown     |    2301 N. Central Avenue (Central & Encanto), Phoenix, AZ 85004 
602.252.8848     |    On the Encanto & Central Light Rail stop!

Free of charge and open to the public.    |   ASU News Story    |   Printable Flyer [PDF]

Sandy Osawa: "I think it's healthy for us to define ourselves in a much broader, bigger way than the way the media likes to define us . . . I also think it’s time that we define ourselves as a people of the present and future and not just of the past."

Sandy OsawaSandy Osawa (Makah) broke media barriers in the 1970s by launching the first ten-part national television series to be entirely produced, acted, and written by Native Americans. Her work continues to stand apart by combining old values with new stories, while challenging more popular images of Native Americans. Seventeen of Osawa’s documentaries have been broadcast on both PBS and commercial television stations and over sixty non-broadcast works have been created for non-profit organizations.

Osawa was the first Native American filmmaker to produce a one-hour documentary for network television, called The Eighth Fire, which aired on NBC stations in 1992. Lighting the 7th Fire (1994) aired nationally on PBS, on a series called P.O.V. and was the first Indian-produced program for that major series. The film also captured top documentary honors at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.

Osawa’s film on Maria Tallchief, America’s first prima ballerina, was broadcast on PBS from 2007-2010. The film swept Fargo’s 2009 International Film Festival for “Best Documentary” and “Best of Show” categories. Maria Tallchief is currently being extended to include additional footage of key dances including her innovative role as the first sugar plum fairy in “Nutcracker.” Such an extension will enable the film to play in theaters and will target a new audience.

A growing number of colleges use her work in the classroom including UC Berkeley, Wesleyan University, UC Riverside, University of Arizona, University of Utah, The Evergreen State College, University of Oregon, University of Indiana, Harvard University, and others.

Osawa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon and has done graduate work at UCLA and the University of Washington. She is the recipient of grants and awards from The Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the American Film Institute, Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT), Washington State Arts Commission, J. Roderick McArthur, the Muckleshoot Tribe, the George Soros Foundation, the King County Arts Commission, 4 Culture, and the Independent Television Service (ITVS).

Photo courtesy Sandy Osawa

ASU Campus Event



March 19, 2015: Speaker TBA


Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne and Arapaho): "Heads Above Grass, Provocative Native American Public Art and Studio Practice" Mar. 20, 2014
Video:   |   Poster: PDF   |   ASU News story

Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree): "Detoxifying Aboriginal Self-perception and Outward Identity" Oct. 10, 2013
Video:   |  Poster: PDF    |   ASU News story

James Luna (Puyukitchum/Luiseño): "Phantasmagoria" Mar. 21, 2013
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Ofelia Zepeda (Tohono O'odham): "Legacies of the Tribal Languages of Arizona: Gifts or Responsibilities?" Oct. 11, 2012
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Bob Haozous (Apache): "Redefining Indigenous Perspectives through Art and Dialogue." Mar. 15, 2012
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Arlinda Locklear (Lumbee): "Tribal Land Claims: A Generation of Federal Indian Law on the Edge." Oct. 6, 2011
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Leroy Little Bear (Blackfoot): "Native Science and Western Science: Possibilities for a Powerful Collaboration." Mar. 24, 2011
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Kathryn Shanley (Assiniboine): "'Mapping' Indigenous Futures: Creating a Native Voice in Higher Education." Oct. 7, 2010
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Peterson Zah (Navajo): "Finally, We Are Growing Our Own." Mar. 25, 2010
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo): An Evening with Leslie Marmon Silko, reading from memoir, Turquoise Ledge. Oct. 8, 2009
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Gerald Taiaiake Alfred (Kahnawake Mohawk): "Resurgence of Traditional Ways of Being: Indigenous Paths of Action and Freedom." Mar. 23, 2009
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee): "Challenges Facing 21st Century Indigenous People." Oct. 2, 2008
Video:   |   Poster: PDF

Ned Blackhawk (Western Shoshone): "Violence over the Land: Lessons from the Early American West." Jan. 28, 2008
Video:   |   Poster: PDF


To speak and act on behalf of ourselves as a human, social and cultural world, we are required to speak and act on behalf of land, culture, and community. No matter who we are, no matter what our livelihood is, and no matter what our inclinations are, we are bound by a relationship to the land upon which we live, the cultural knowledge by which we are guided, and the community we share with one another.

The Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community at Arizona State University addresses topics and issues across disciplines in the arts, humanities, sciences, and politics. Underscoring Indigenous American experiences and perspectives, this series seeks to create and celebrate knowledge that evolves from an inclusive Indigenous worldview and that is applicable to all walks of life.

The Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community seeks to speak, act, offer, and share in order to assume responsibility for land, culture, community that is our world.

ASU Sponsors: American Indian Policy Institute | American Indian Studies Program | Department of English | School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies | Indian Legal Program in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law | Labriola National American Indian Data Center | School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts | Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation

Community Partner: Heard Museum