Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
GRAND RAPIDS American Indian author Gyasi Ross is the featured speaker at the last Native American Heritage Month event at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, November 28 at 4:00 pm.
Gyasi Ross Blackfeet
His topic may be controversial to some.
Ross' presentation is entitled "Power in the Blood?: Moving Toward Standards for Indigenous Identity." This presentation will examine the existing issues surrounding questions of tribal membership versus nation citizenship, as well as blood quantum versus citizenship requirements.
“Mr. Ross is an eloquent and powerful speaker, and I think he is a great choice to both challenge and inspire the students and the community, ”
said Nikole LeCompte, president of Grand Valley State University's Native American Student Association.
“I think it's important for Native students to hear from successful Natives from around the country, and from diverse backgrounds.”
Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and his family comes from the Suquamish Nation. He is a practicing attorney, and his practice is centered around economic development for tribes.
He is also the author of a collection of short stories and poems depicting the various aspects of life in Indian country, called "Don't Know Much About Indians (but I wrote a book about us anyways)".
Gyasi's maternal grandfather gave him his Indian name, "Oo-ni-koom-sika," which means "Little Big Man" because Gyasi's inquisitiveness and conversational style reminded his grandfather of an old man. Ross comes from a family of storytellers and community leaders, and he works hard to carry on the legacy.
This event is free and open to the public.
Lecture by American Indian Author Gyasi Ross
"Power in the Blood?:Moving Toward Standards for Indigenous Identity"
Wednesday, November 28
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Grand Valley State University
215 Eberhard Center
301 West Fulton
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504
posted November 24, 2012 6:59 am est