Skip to main content

Diversity series: 'Writing Rez Life: Indians in the 21st Century'

February 14, 2013

A reception, book signing, workshops and special keynote address by David Treuer is part of an upcoming Diversity Scholars Series event hosted by the Office of Institutional Inclusion.

Treuer, the featured scholar, is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He will discuss and read from his most recent book, "Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through the Land of His People," as part of a special reception open to the public from 5 to 7 p.m., Feb. 20, in the Memorial Union, room 228, on the Tempe campus.

Light hors d'oeuvres will be served from 5 to 6 p.m., and the keynote address will follow. Please RSVP by Feb. 16.

In his book "Rez Life," Treuer brings a novelist's storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present.

With authoritative research and reportage, he illuminates misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation. He traces the waves of public policy that have disenfranchised and exploited Native Americans, exposing the tension that has marked the historical relationship between the U.S. government and the Native American population. Through the eyes of students, teachers, government administrators, lawyers and tribal court judges, he shows how casinos, tribal government and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have transformed the landscape of Native American life.

Treuer is the recipient of a numerous awards and fellowships, including the Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the NEH, Bush Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has written three novels, a book of criticism, and more recently "Rez Life." His essays, editorials and stories have appeared in the New York Times, Lucky Peach, Esquire, TriQuarterly, the Washington Post, the LA Times and

In addition, the Office of Institutional Inclusion will present two sessions on Feb. 21 – the first one from 9 to 11 a.m., in the Memorial Union, room 246, on "The Narrative of Dismay: How to Get Beyond Tragedy."

The second session will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., in the Memorial Union, room 246, on "Social Justice and Narrative Justice: How to Think about Being Indian in the 21st Century."

A light breakfast will be provided in the first session, which is designed for ASU faculty and graduate students. In this session, Treuer will discuss the role of scholarship, journalism and memoir in relation to finding new ways of investigating American Indian lives.

A light lunch will be provided in the second session, which is designed for ASU student support and staff. Here, Treuer will discuss ways in which we can account for the difficulties of supporting American Indian students in the modern age.

Seating is limited – please RSVP by Feb. 16 to