New Exhibit: Contemporary Indigenous Authorship

"Contemporary Indigenous Authorship" and the UW Tacoma Library logo accompanied by red, yellow, and blue fingerprints

North America has been inhabited since long before Leif Erikson and Christopher Columbus. This land’s Indigenous Peoples continue to exist today, asserting their sovereignty and working to maintain their civil rights.

Among the ways they express their existence is through written and oral stories; artistic renderings; and historical accounts, present examination, and future portrayals. Tommy Orange’s debut novel, There There, follows the paths of 12 individuals making their way to the Big Oakland Powwow–considering their pasts and experiences along the way. Orange highlights the diverse realities of Natives in modern America, touching on tradition, survivance, identity, and more.

There There has been selected by Mayor Woodards as the Tacoma Reads 2019 selection. This year, UW Tacoma is pleased to partner with the City of Tacoma, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, and the Tacoma Public Library to use this book as an academic and extracurricular catalyst for discussion. Dr. Danica Miller will use the text in her class, The American Indian Movement (T EGL 305), culminating in a zine exhibit that will be displayed in the UW Tacoma Library.

The UW Tacoma Library and the Center for Equity and Inclusion will also use the book this fall as the Real Lit[erature] selection–providing interested students with a free paperback and facilitating discussions throughout the quarter.

We invite you to consider Indigenous #ownvoices in contemporary authorship. Please visit our Fall 2019 “Contemporary Indigenous Authorship” exhibit in the foyer of the Snoqualmie Building at the University of Washington Tacoma Library. (View library hours.) A parallel digital exhibit is online at

Also, keep an eye out for more information about Real Lit[erature] free books and discussion events this fall quarter!

#ownvoices helps identify writing about characters from marginalized communities by authors from that same marginalized group. Privileging #ownvoices helps reduce harmful stereotypes that might be assumed by authors writing outside of their lived experience.

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