2019 GIA Conference
Cultural Intersections
Denver, CO  |  October 13–16

Who Controls the Narrative?

Tuesday, October 15, 10:00am – 11:30am


Organized and moderated by Gabrielle Strong, program officer, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

Presented by Crystal Echohawk, president & CEO, Echo Hawk Consulting; and Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, vice president of Indigenous Arts Education, Evergreen State College - Foundation.

Startling findings surfaced by unprecedented research conducted by the “Reclaiming Native Truth” project published in 2018. The erasure and invisibility of Native peoples have created a vacuum easily filled with myths, stereotypes, and half-truths. Information that most Americans have received since birth from movies, television, news media, and school lessons has created a false but commonly accepted story about Native peoples. The effects are profound. K-12 education, media, pop culture, and entertainment are the primary drivers and systems that perpetuate, normalize, and institutionalize invisibility, bias, and discrimination against Native peoples. The negative and persistent narratives are used to justify discrimination and racism. “Reclaiming Native Truth” research provides a clear road map for how we need to re-educate Americans and shift dominant perceptions and stories about Native peoples across society, and within key sectors institutions. This session will highlight the significant research findings and explore how arts and culture can advance contemporary representation and narrative change for Native peoples. Crystal Echohawk, (Pawnee), founder of IllumiNative will lead a lively conversation on envisioning an America that comes to terms with its past, rethinks present assumptions, and moves forward together to support equity, tribal sovereignty, and social justice for Native communities.