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


Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 :: "The Healing Properties of Navajo Ceremonies" Lecture
LORI ARVISO ALVORD, Surgeon, Banner Health Page Hospital, Page, AZ

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 [forthcoming]   |   Printable Flyer [PDF]

Lori Arviso Alvord: "Ceremonies work at multiple levels, but primarily they heal the mind, which helps to heal the body. Chant, song, prayer, and guided imagery are used, in an elaborate form of mind-body medicine. Subsistence living and environmental sustainability principles are also found in ceremony teachings, and are examples of how interconnection can promote sustainability theory and teach humans a way of living that honors and protects our natural world."

Dr. Lori AlvordRaised in Crownpoint, New Mexico, Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord, MD (Navajo) is a member the Tsinnajinnie (Ponderosa Pine) and Ashi’hii’ Dine’ (Salt) clans. She is the first Navajo woman to be board-certified in surgery. Her memoir, The Scalpel and the Silver Bear (Bantam, 1999), tells the story of her journey from the reservation to the operating room and of her work to combine Navajo philosophies of healing with western medicine.

Dr. Alvord is currently Chief of Surgical Services and a practicing general surgeon at Banner Health Page Hospital, in Page, Arizona. She also holds an appointment as Associate Faculty at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for American Indian Health.

Dr. Alvord earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1979, received her doctorate of medicine (MD) at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1985, and completed her residency in general surgery at Stanford University Hospital. In addition to other medical practice and teaching positions, she served as a member of the National Advisory Council of the NIH Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine from 2008-2010. Her research has focused on surgical outcomes and health disparities in Native American populations. Additional interests include Native American health, Native American healing, integrative medicine, and the creation of healing environments.

Dr. Alvord has been awarded honorary degrees from Albany Medical College, Drexel University College of Medicine, and Pine Manor College, and has been a commencement speaker at five medical schools. She is featured in the National Library of Medicine exhibit, “Changing the Face of Medicine,” honoring pioneering women physicians over the past 150 years.

Photo courtesy Lori Arviso Alvord

ASU Campus Event: Thursday, Oct. 22 @ 10:30 a.m.

'Meet the Speaker' Reception, 10:30 a.m. Labriola Center (LIB 2nd flr), ASU Tempe campus. All are welcome! More information:, 480-965-0298  [PDF flyer]


March 2016: Speaker TBA


Victor Masayesva (Hopi): "Indian Time" Mar. 19, 2015
Video:   |   Poster: PDF   |   ASU News story

Sandy Osawa (Makah): "Maria Tallchief" Oct. 16, 2014
Video:    |    Poster: PDF    |    ASU News story

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