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

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ASU Now story   |   Poster

Manuelito Wheeler (Navajo), Director, Navajo Nation Museum, Window Rock, AZ

'Navajo Identity through Global Projects'

Lecture: Thursday, March 24, 2016  |   7 p.m.  |  Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Avenue (Central & Encanto), Phoenix, AZ 85004
Campus Event: Thursday, March 24, 2016  |  10:30 a.m.  |  Labriola Center, Hayden Library (LIB 2nd flr) ASU campus in Tempe

Both events are free of charge and open to the public.

"... A tribal museum can help redefine what a museum can be for its community, which is more than just a community gathering place ... It's a place you can go and experience a sense of wonder. That sense of wonder is important--it gives us hope that humans have a future in this universe."

—Manuelito Wheeler

Manny Wheeler. Photo by Don JamesBorn and raised on the Navajo Nation, Manuelito Wheeler is currently the Director of the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, AZ. Since taking this position in 2008, he has worked with staff to see the completion of numerous exhibits which are 100% Native-built from concept, curation, and creation. Along with this, he has led his team (of 8) in creating innovative projects which influence and preserve Navajo culture.

In the pursuit of native language preservation, the Navajo Nation Museum has partnered with major motion picture studios like Lucasfilm Ltd., Walt Disney Pictures and Deluxe Studios to dub popular movies into the Navajo language. Making these projects a reality has been a challenging but rewarding experience. Currently the museum is completing a Navajo-language dub of Disney's classic animation film Finding Nemo.

Under Wheeler's direction, the Navajo Nation Museum has also worked with world renowned artist Ai Weiwei, partnering him with Navajo artist Bert Benally to create a site-specific installation piece in a remote canyon on the Navajo Nation.

Wheeler attended Arizona State University from 88-03 where he earned his BA in Art History. He is married to Jennifer Wheeler, PhD (Arizona State University) and they have two sons Waunekanez (currently attending Arizona State University) and Hataaliinez.

 Download poster: indigspeakerserieswheeler16finalforweb.pdf


Lori Arviso Alvord (Navajo): "The Healing Properties of Navajo Ceremonies" Oct. 22, 2015  |  Video  |  Poster  |  ASU News story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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