Indigenous Storytelling in Art and Literature: Laurel Goodluck, Mandan/Hidatsa/Tsimshian

Earlier this month, we launched MIAC’s November speaker series, “Indigenous Storytelling in Art and Literature,” co-hosted by Deputy Director Dr. Matthew Martinez (Ohkay Owingeh) and Curatorial Assistant Lillia McEnaney.

According to Dr. Reese, (Nambé Owingeh), less than 1% of children’s books published in the United States include American Indian characters or authors. These conversations are an extension of MIAC’s ongoing work with local schools and educators, and is meant to serve as a resource for New Mexicans to learn about Indigenous communities throughout the Southwest.

Our second speaker is Laurel Goodluck. Laurel Goodluck writes picture books with modern Native themes that reflect Native children’s cultural experiences and everyday life, showing Native children that they have a perspective that is unique and powerful. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Laurel comes from an intertribal background of Mandan and Hidatsa from the prairies of North Dakota, and Tsimshian from a rainforest in Alaska. Laurel received both a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Community Counseling and Family Studies from the University of New Mexico.

She began writing by crafting a curriculum for community advocacy involving Native teen leadership and later for children newly diagnosed with mental health challenges. Laurel lives with her Navajo husband in Albuquerque, where they raised two children also bent on storytelling in journalism and filmmaking. She was a recipient of the 2019 We Need Diverse Books Picture Book Mentorship and was paired with award-winner author Traci Sorell. She also received a competitive funding grant from New Mexico Writers to support new works in progress.

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