Alan Michelson in conversation with Jolene Rickard: A Virtual Event


Alan Michelson in conversation with Jolene Rickard about Native sovereignty, citizenship, and civil rights

For the the first 150 years of United States history, Native Americans were excluded from the citizenry. In 1924, the Indian Citizenship Act made all Native Americans citizens in an effort to assimilate them into White American culture. The act abrogated treaties that northeastern Native nations hold with the US government that recognize them as sovereign nations; some members of these nations, namely the Onondaga of central New York State, protested the act for this reason. Join Native artist Alan Michelson and scholar Jolene Rickard for a conversation about Native sovereignty, citizenship, and civil rights.

Alan Michelson is an internationally recognized New York-based artist, curator, writer, lecturer and Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River. For over twenty-five years, he has been a leading practitioner of a socially engaged, critically aware, site-specific art grounded in local context and informed by the retrieval of repressed histories. He is the recipient of several awards, including an NEA Visual Artists Fellowship, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship, and the GSA Design Award, Citation in Art. His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Canada, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Michelson is co-founder and co-curator, with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School, of the Indigenous New York series.

Jolene Rickard is an artist, curator, professor, and visual historian whose focus is art history and Indigenous studies. She is of Native American Tuscaroran heritage (western New York State). She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York, a Master of Fine Arts from Buffalo State College, New York, and a PhD from the University at Buffalo (SUNY). She is an associate professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The 2004 inaugural exhibition for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. was co-curated by Rickard.

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