Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 19, 1999

American Indian Symposium

Film producer Alexie to speak

by Anne Dolan

Iowa State's 28th annual American Indian symposium (April 1- 3) will focus on contemporary images of American Indians in film and art. "Shooting the Moon" opens with a screening of the film Smoke Signals at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room and closes with a pow wow Saturday in State Gym.

Admission is free. The ISU community is welcome.

Smoke Signals, the first feature film to be written, directed and produced by American Indians, will be shown again Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Pioneer Room. The film won two awards at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Writer, poet and Spokane Indian Sherman Alexie, who wrote and co-produced the film, will give the keynote address at 8 p.m. Friday in the Memorial Union Sun Room. His talk is titled, "Killing Indians: Myths, Lies and Exaggerations." A reception and book signing will follow.

At 3 p.m. Friday in the Memorial Union Gallery, artist and Objibwe Indian Jim Denomie, St. Paul, Minn., will talk about his work, much of which addresses Indian stereotypes and what Indian art is "supposed to be." An exhibition of Denomie's work in the Gallery will run through Saturday. (Denomie also will be on campus March 25 for a Big Brain Cafe lecture, "Transitions in Indian Art," at the Brunnier Museum. His talk starts at 7 p.m.)

ISU art and design professor John Weinkein will moderate a panel discussion Saturday morning on American Indian images in art, film and literature. Panelists will include Alexie, Denomie and Meskwaki Indian Ray Youngbear, ISU English department. The panel begins at 9 a.m. in the Memorial Union Gallery.

"The symposium is a great chance to see and hear people you don't often have a chance to see," said Lynn Paxson, architecture, and co-chair of the symposium planning committee.

The Saturday pow wow will feature several varieties of Indian dancing, performed by regional award-winning dancers and drum groups. It runs from 2 until about 10 p.m., with a break from 5 to 7 p.m. Grand entries, the showy start to a dance series, begin at 2 and 7 p.m. in State Gym.

A complete schedule of events is listed in the calendar of events.

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