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Upcoming Events

May 19 Healing Feathers Talking Circle

May 24 Indigenous Permaculture Work Party at the Rooftop and Deerwalk Gardens

See full size event flyer for details.

Quamash Prairie Camas Gathering and Pit Roast

Tuesday, May 10th from 1-7 pm.

Feel free to drop in when you can and bring friends and family!

For all event details, see the full size Event Flyer





Faculty Meeting


Indigenous Nations Studies (INST) Faculty Meeting


Thursday, February 25, 2016 (12:30 PM - 1:30 PM)

Tenative / Thursday, March 24, 2016 (12:30 PM - 1:30 PM)


XSB conference room


CFP: Indigenous Video Games/Gaming - special issue of Transmotion curated by guest editor Elizabeth LaPensée

Journal Web-page:

Transmotion is currently seeking submissions for a special topics issue on Games (e.g. video games, computer games, and digital games). We are a biannual open-access journal, inspired by the work of Gerald Vizenor, publishing new scholarship focused on theoretical, experimental, postmodernist, and avant-garde works produced by Native American and First Nations creators.

The broad use of Vizenor-created theoretical terms in many different academic fields highlights the fact that Vizenor Studies represents a significant interdisciplinary conversation within the broader field of Indigenous Studies. As such, the editors of Transmotion will look for submissions for this special issue that do any of the following:

• Explore the inter-relation of image and text, art and storytelling, in games with Indigenous themes
• Contribute to recent developing conversations in contemporary Native American game development, in relation to questions of visual sovereignty, visuality, and ethics.
• Employ Vizenor’s theory to look at games with Indigenous themes
• Emphasize experimental, theoretical, and avant-garde Native North American games

The journal accepts creative or hybrid work, provided that such work aligns aesthetically with the aforementioned editorial emphasis. The editors particularly welcome for this issue submissions of innovative and creative works that exploit digital media.

People interested in submitting scholarly articles and/or creative work for this special issue should contact Elizabeth LaPensée in the first instance on, before March 7th 2016.

Transmotion is hosted by the University of Kent and produced in collaboration with European University Cyprus, California State University San Bernardino and the University of Georgia, under a Creative Commons license. All submissions will be double-blind peer reviewed, in a process reviewed by our editorial board, who will also approve each issue. General enquiries regarding submission are welcome and may be sent to the editors at Scholarly articles should be 20-25 pages in length, prepared according to the MLA Style Manual. Creative and hybrid work can be of any length. We are also very keen for scholars to put themselves forward as potential book reviewers and to volunteer to be anonymous peer reviewers.

Information regarding on-line submissions of full drafts can be found at:…/transmotion/…/submissions…

Guest Editor:
• Elizabeth LaPensée (University of Minnesota)

• David J. Carlson (California State University San Bernardino)
• James Mackay (European University Cyprus)
• David Stirrup (University of Kent)
• Theodore C. Van Alst (University of Montana)

Production Editor:
• Laura Adams Weaver (University of Georgia)

Editorial Board
• Jennifer Andrews (University of New Brunswick)
• Scott Andrews (California State University Northridge)
• Kimberly Blaeser (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
• Jill Doerfler (University of Minnesota Duluth)
• Hsinya Huang (National Sun Yat-sen University) 
• A. Robert Lee (University of Murcia)
• David L. Moore (University of Montana)
• Margaret Noodin (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
• Jace Weaver (University of Georgia)



Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D.







9th Annual Liberation Based Healing Conference

October 3-4th 2014


The Liberation-Based Healing Conference presents strategies that promote relational healing and liberation from the oppressive patterns that structure society. This year’s conference theme is Speaking Truth to Power: Decolonization Through Liberation-Based Healing. Participants will learn to apply decolonizing practices to community and domestic violence, education, trauma, mental health and wellness, religious and spiritual practices, poverty, and youth empowerment. On day one we will hear from therapists, teachers, and community activists from across North America who will describe initiatives created in their communities that promote healing, equity and access for all, and will engage participants in dialogue, inquiry and social action strategies. Day two will bridge learning and strategies from local community members and activists to envision opportunities to form new alliances and generate liberation-based healing practices for grassroots community change. Participation in day two only is free and open to the public.

Conference Details Dates: Friday-Saturday, October 3-4, 2014

Times: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. both days

Location: Friends of the Children, 65 NE Stanton, Portland, OR 97212 (503) 281-6633

Registration is now open! Click here or on the “Registration” button above. This conference was founded by the Institute for Family Services. The conference is co-organized and supported by the Center for Community Engagement at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. About Liberation-Based Healing Liberation-based healing invokes critical dialogues and social action around empowerment, accountability and inclusion among individuals, families, and communities, and a systemic analysis of systems of domination and subordination across and within cultures, by addressing the interplay of power, privilege, and oppression in family and community life with clients, between clients, and with practitioners. Liberation-based healing practices promote collaboration and inclusion among individuals, families, and communities within a context of equity. As part of a complex mosaic of intersectionality, individuals are seen in relation to their culture, race, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as their social, political and historical contexts. Healing systems within this paradigm depart from the colonizing practices of traditional mental health, and embrace the multiple and unfinished pathways that emerging decolonization-thinking from the global South, Indigenous communities from the North, and South Asia, offer the world.

PDX SynesthesiA

Submission Deadline: June 15, 2014

Event Date: August 15-17 ,2014

9:00am - 2:00pm

PDX SynesthesiA is a paper conference, art exhibition, and music event all in one. Papers to be presented will be approximately 4000 words in length, of a conceptual nature in any field of study, and will require the author to present the work at the conference if selected. Papers will be presented from 9am to 2pm each day of the event which will be August 15th through the 17th. Using crowd sourcing methods spectators will vote to decide which papers receive best presentation awards of $700, $300, and honorable mention.

Submission deadline is June 15th and there will be a presenters reception dinner on the Thursday before the event in august for all artists, writers, and musicians to get a chance to meet each other. The publication Fly-by magazine will also be conducting select interviews with presenters between July and August for their next annual issue. Fly-by will also be doing video interviews with presenters to post to their website if interested. This is a great opportunity for those interested in networking with other creative folks in the northwest and a scouting event for those seeking talented and innovative people that may not have been known before. For more information visit our website at

The Expressive Power of Games

A Talk By Brenda Romero Followed by Discussion with Portland Indie Game Squad

Saturday, May 31, 2014

6:00pm – 8:00pm

Native American Student and Community Center

Portland State University

710 SW Jackson St, Portland, Oregon

When we think of games - video games, board games, any kind of games - they are often trivialized as mere childish pastimes to entertain us. Yet games are and have always been so much more than that. From the Olympics to epic man-vs-machine chess matches to daily “games” in which an underdog rises above and beats the system, games are powerful artifacts of our everyday lives with a potential for creative expressivity and change beyond that for which we give them credit. In this talk, game designer and artist Brenda Romero talks about the expressive power of games and her current work in the award-winning Mechanic is the Message series. Following the talk, Portland Indie Game Squad will introduce the exciting work happening in Portland and lead a discussion for generating ideas and making connections in the local game development community.

--- Brenda Romero is an award-winning game designer, artist, writer and creative director who entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15. She is the longest continuously serving woman in the video game industry. Brenda worked with a variety of digital game companies as a game designer or creative director, including Atari,   Sir-tech Software, Electronic Arts and numerous companies in the social and mobile space. She is presently the game designer in residence at the University of California at Santa Cruz and the co-founder and chief operating officer of Loot Drop, a social and mobile game company. In recent years, Brenda has become known for an award-winning series of non-digital games titled The Mechanic is the Message.

So far, Train, Siochan Leat, the New World and Pre-Conception have been released. In 2009, her game Train won the coveted Vanguard Award at IndieCade for "pushing the boundaries of game design and showing us what games can do." Brenda serves on the advisory board of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at the Strong Museum of Play. She also works with John Romero and The Romero Archives to record game designers discussing their game design process for historical archiving. Brenda served on the board of the International Game Developers Association   (IGDA) and presently chairs the IGDA's Women in Games Special Interest group.                                                

From 2006-2009, Romero was chair of the interactive design and game development department at the       Savannah College of Art and Design. While there, she overhauled the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, created many new courses, and led the school to a spot in the Los Angeles Times' list of the Top 10 game design schools in the world. She is the recipient of the 2013 Women in Games Lifetime Achievement Award awarded by Microsoft and previously was a nominee in Microsoft's 2010 Women in Games game design award. Romero was also named one of Forbes "12 Women in Gaming to Watch" in 2013 and Woman of the Year by Charisma+2 Magazine in 2010, one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by in 2008 and one of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place.

--- A collaboration among: Portland State University Pixel Arts Game Education


Tribal Knowledge Bowl

Native American Student and Community Center

Portland State University

Saturday, May 24, 2014

(9:00 AM to 3:00 PM)


Project Summary: The Tribal Knowledge Bowl is an academic team competition that tests middle/high school students’ knowledge in the areas of tribal history and contemporary issues in Native America. Student teams from the Portland area will be quizzed in a fast paced question/answer format similar to that of popular TV quiz shows like Jeopardy. Purpose and rationale for the project The purpose of this project is to introduce and test a set of assumptions about the nature of Indigenous knowledge to middle and high school students at a one-day event called the Tribal Knowledge Bowl. Taking the academic lead on this project, the Indigenous Nations Studies (INST) faculty will compose questions on tribal history, contemporary issues and future trends within Native American life-ways and present these selected questions to the student teams as an academic competition that tests students’ knowledge in selected areas. As INST faulty, we believe we can explicate a set of assumptions that are essential to the field of Native American/American Indian/Indigenous Nations Studies that characterize the sometimes elusive notion of an Indigenous perspective. Besides composing contest questions for the Tribal Knowledge Bowl, our faculty will enable students to do independent inquiry in our university courses or in research projects. To strengthen student’s sense of cultural belonging to the PSU campus, the Tribal Knowledge Bowl will be held in the Native American Student and Community Center (NASCC).                                                                       

The Tribal Knowledge Bowl is not only a great way to meet other students, it is an opportunity to visit a local university campus and recruit Native students to PSU. In any academic field, certain works have set standards for innovative approaches, have defined standards for critical analysis, or have become the subject of critique by scholars in the field of Native American Studies. The Tribal Knowledge Bowl will encourage students to reflect on the linkages between their academic learning experiences and the educational needs of the Native communities, and to deconstruct the notions of a Western model of education and one that derives from a Native holistic worldview to identify the points of tension and convergence. The faculty, staff, student leaders and volunteers of this event also become role models for the student participants as they provide a visible link to obtaining a college degree. The interface of the many connections, linkages, and commitments of the individuals and entities involved serves to create support systems—an educational pipeline—for the continuous development of students and other leaders to address the critical needs of Native communities.

Project Design and Timeframe

The Tribal Knowledge Bowl is a team competition open for all students within Portland schools with the focus on Native American middle/high school students in Multnomah County. School teams will be represented by four (4) team members and one alternate during competition. An adult chaperone will serve as the team advisor and coach. Indigenous Nations Studies faculty will construct team questions from the knowledge base in Native American Studies framed within variations of mass media, books, and other resources. These resources will be distributed to the teams prior to the event. Knowledge bowl players answer their questions based on Native American issues and cultures. During the competition, the students are given instruments like gourd shakers or hand-drums and are asked questions by the judges. The school team with the most right answers/fastest response times in a double elimination bracket is the winner. We estimate about 20 teams (4 team membership X 20 teams= 80 students) will participate in this one-day event to be located in the Native American Student and Community Center (NASCC).


Once teams register, the first round of competition will be determined by team captains who will draw cards (opponent teams) from a lottery format. Since the competition is a double-elimination format, each team will have the opportunity to play two (2) rounds. To engage the local Native American community into this event, the host committee will solicit adult volunteers who will have the opportunity to participate in the roles of moderator, time-keeper, score-keeper, judge and door monitor. Each of these volunteer positions plays an important role in a successful competition. Each volunteer will be required to attend a brief inservice training prior to starting the competition. After the Tribal Knowledge Bowl is over, all teams (including team advisors and coaches) will be invited to the awards banquet where each student will be recognized for their participation. The winning team, second place and third place teams will be given awards ceremoniously by the host committee. All volunteers will be given certificates of appreciation for their services to the Tribal Knowledge Bowl.


This event will also introduce students to Portland State University student leaders of UISHE and AISES, INST faculty, and NASCC staff. The registration table will include student support service materials for Native American students. Lunch will be provided to all teams and their chaperones. Online Registration Process Please visit to register for the Tribal Knowledge Bowl.

Walk-in registrations (day of event) will also be accepted.

Please include the following information in your application:

1. Team Name (4 students on a team): 

2. Name of school representing:  

3. Contact information of team chaperone (email/telephone/address): 

4. Contact information of team members

5. Signed permission forms to post winners on our website Special Events Council Fires and Lunch: 

The Tribal Knowledge Bowl will feature a large gathering of all the participants of this event and give them the opportunity to meet local Native elders and university scholars. The idea of coming together as one large group provides a traditional, self-organizing process known as Council Fires to energize and engage participants in stimulating advisement and mentoring. Council Fires will generate a safe place for personal “shout-outs” by students, adults and community members. The Tribal Knowledge Bowl will also include lunch and will commence with traditional tribal protocols for eating together.

Tribal Knowledge Bowl Venue Indigenous Nations Studies (INST) at Portland State University is the host for this first time event. The Tribal Knowledge Bowl will take place in the Native American Student and Community Center (NASCC) at PSU.

Eligibility of Participants Participants must be full-time students in good standing with their respective schools at or before the time of the event. The host committee may verify with school officials the validity of good standing students.   There is no registration fee for this event.

The 2014 Program Committee

Cornel Pewewardy, Director & Professor of INST

Christina Urenia, Administrative Assistant INST

Judy Bluehorse Skelton, Senior Instructor INST

Grace Dillon, Associate Professor of INST


Tribal Knowledge Bowl

(tentative program for Saturday, May 24th)

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM Cedar ceremony

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Council Fires: Introductions & outline of game rules

9:30 PM – 10:00 AM 1st round of competition

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM 2nd round of competition

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM 3rd round of competition

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM 4th round of competition

11: 30 AM – 12:00 PM 5th round of competition

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM Feasting ceremony

12:30 PM – 1:00 PM Playoff rounds

1:00 PM – 1:30 PM Playoff rounds

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM Playoff rounds

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM Council Fires:

Announcement of winning teams; metal ceremonies; honor songs

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM Council Fires:

Closing reflections and shout outs by students and community We look forward to welcoming you in Portland!


March 6, 2014 

Dylan_Rodríguez_Lecture.p df.pdf 

Dylan Rodriguez Lecture

Now-November 1, 2014

Indigenous Futurisms Science Fiction Writing Contest


March 11, 2014 

 Book Launch event at Tucson Festival of Books (Time, place, date on poster below...)

Astronomer-painter Bill Hartmann (who did the Mars painting on our Orbiting Ray Bradbury's 
 cover) and I will appear shortly on the local PBS news and culture show, Arizona Illustrated.
Bill works at the Planetary Science Institute as an astronomer when he is not painting.  He has 
traveled across Europe and to Russia showing his space paintings.

For those of you in Tucson, that pretty much says it.  PBS is Ch. 6 and Ch. 27 Broadcast.
The preview to our book launch will air at 6:30 PM on Tuesday March 11th. 

-To include a chapter written by our wonderful Professor, Grace Dillon!

Grace L. Dillon, PhD
Editor, Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction.

April 26, 2014

Earth-Based Education Perspective: Indigenous Environmental Justice

More information : TBA