A Conversation with the Native American Writer, Activist, and Policy Advocate Suzan Shown Harjo
On this edition of ST, we welcome Dr. Suzan Shown Harjo, a noted poet, lecturer, curator, and policy advocate. She'll soon be in our community to participate in the Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival, which runs from Friday the 31st through Sunday the 2nd at the Glenpool Conference Center; Dr. Harjo will serve as the poet-in-residence at this festival. She's also president and executive director of The Morning Star Institute, a national, non-profit Indian rights organization for Native Peoples' traditional and cultural advocacy, arts promotion, and research. Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Washington, DC, Morning Star is the sponsoring organization for a lawsuit regarding trademarks of the NFL's Washington Redskins. The case was filed before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Board in 1992 by seven prominent Native Americans, with Dr. Harjo among them; legal wrangling over this case continues to this day --- many Americans (Native and otherwise) regard "redskins" as an unkind and disparaging if not downright racist and cruel slur --- yet the current Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder, has said that he has no interest in changing his team's name. Dr. Harjo, who is of Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee lineage, is a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. She talks with us in detail about her writing and her work --- her passions and her profession; her muse and her motivations --- on today's program.