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1.) "Frameworks for Reading Native American Literature" is a 75-minute lecture intended for general audiences to gain important context for understanding Native American literature. Delivered by Professor Jessica Jones (full-time faculty, English Department, Stark Campus) this lecture follows the Essential Understandings of Indian Education for All as set forth by the Montana Office of Public Instruction as well as the National Museum of the American Indian & Smithsonian. These frameworks invite readers to consider the multiple-story narratives that inform Indigenous presence in North America from pre-Columbian contact to the present.
This overview, which begins with creation stories and early Native poetry proceeds through 19th century speeches, biographies and novels and brings readers into the 20th and 21st centuries with groundbreaking works of poetry and fiction by major authors. Context touches on forced removal and reservations, the boarding school era, cyclical trauma, and current issues-- all of which are crucial to understanding the depth of suffering, survivance, humor and tenacity often present in NA literature. Discussion will also underscore the inseparability of land from culture and the significance of oral tradition among tribes with endangered languages. Photos within the slides are primarily from Jones’ own life teaching on the Flathead and Blackfeet Reservations in Montana, as well as research in Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo and Seneca lands. The lecture culminates in a handout with guidelines for sensitively approaching Native Lit as well as lists for future reading.
YouTube Video Link
2.) The second video, an interview with Dr. Anthony Manna, titled: “Exploring Equity: Sensitive Approaches to Understanding Native American Literature," explores a rationale for social justice education and the sensitive inclusion of Native Literature. During this interview, Dr. Manna, a retired professor from Kent State University, interviews Jones on her training in Indian Education for All, her perspectives on serving as a bridgebuilder, and the questions and goals that currently inform education for restorative justice. During the interview, Jones also reads work from her poetry collection, Bitterroot, which takes place on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana and from her essay on teaching in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
YOUTUBE VIDEO LINK
3.) BIO: Jessica Jones holds a Masters in English from the University of Montana, with licensure to teach grades 5-12 English and K-12 Art, as well as training in Indian Education for All (IEFA). She has taught on the Flathead Reservation as well as with students from Missoula and from the Blackfeet Reservation via University of Montana’s Upward Bound.
Jones’ poetry and essays have appeared in Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning (2014), the Ohio Journal of Language Arts (2014), Poems Across the Big Sky II: An Anthology of Montana Poets (Many Voices Press, 2016), Bright Bones (Open Country Press, 2018), NCTE’s English Journal (2018), and Permafrost (2019). Her chapbook, Bitterroot, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2019. She has also served as Writer in Residence for Calcutta Mercy Hospital in India, and with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. She is currently full-time faculty at Kent State University at Stark, where she teaches poetry, fiction, creative writing, and composition courses that focus on diversity and social justice. She can be reached by email at jessicamariejones.mail [at] gmail.com and via her website at https://naea.digication.com/jessica_jones.