Native American Heritage Month exhibition

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ASU’s Labriola Center is hosting an interesting exhibit at ArtSpace West Gallery located on ASU’s West Campus. The exhibition features the story of Jean Chaudhuri who was a remarkable Native American community leader, author and storyteller who helped preserve the Phoenix Indian School. There are also many other activities planned to honor Native American Heritage month.

Alexander Soto, Director at Labriola National American Indian Data Center and Vina Begay, Assistant Librarian at the data center give us an insight on this event.

“In summary, we are an Indigenous Library within Arizona State University’s library system. We’ve been around since 1993, and since that time I’m the first Indigenous director in this position, and so we’re here to provide Indigenous library services to our community,” Soto said.

The services are a combination of research support. There is community driven archive support of all tribes and nations in the midst of helping students get materials for their courses.

Who is Jean Chaudhuri?

“She’s a really phenomenal woman and inspiration. She is an author and a playwright, and she’s also an activist, and she did a lot. She was from the Muscogee Nation and she lived in the Tucson area in the 70s. And she was under working as an executive director for the Traditional Indian Alliance. She was a mover and shaker in the Indigenous community and she created services to better the population for Indigenous community in Metropolitan areas,” Begay said.

“Our ambition and vision in the library over here is to uplift Indigenous voices and stories and cultures, and so in this case, having Indigenous librarians like me and Vina, we’re able to curate that story in a way that properly shares who she is, her background, and so for the Labriola, that’s one of our main areas with our collection. So what that looks like is we have two locations, one at the West campus and one at Tempe,” Soto said.

They partner with individuals there to truly tell the story.

Alexander Soto, Director at Labriola National American Indian Data Center; Vina Begay, Assistant Librarian at Labriola National American Indian Data Center

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