Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 16, 2012

Simon Ortiz: Shocked over Native books banned in Arizona

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Simon Ortiz, world acclaimed poet, author and professor, responded to the banning of books by Chicano and Native American authors. Tucson schools seized the books from students in their classrooms after the board voted to forbid Mexican American Studies on Tuesday. Tucson schools board voted to succumb to the state of Arizona's threat to extract millions of dollars if the classes continued.
Simon Ortiz:
"I am very stunned and very shocked and very pissed off the Tucson Unified School District would ban Mexican American Studies and books like Rethinking Columbus: The Next Five Hundred Years that includes works by Indigenous (Native) authors Leslie Marmon Silko, N. Scott Momaday, Winona LaDuke, Buffy St. Marie, Joy Harjo, Wendy Rose, Joseph Bruchac, Jimmie Durham, Peter Blue Cloud, Luther Standing Bear, Gail Trembly, Jose Barreiro, Phillip Martin, Suzanne Shown Harjo. The banning explicitly and pointedly shows it is not only Mexican American Studies and people and so-called illegal immigrants that are targeted but Indigenous studies and people as a whole"
Simon J. Ortiz, Regents Professor, ASU Department of English; American Indian Studies


JoAnne said...

Is there anything to be done to counteract this ignorant move? Their bans are unthinkable, and I remain incredulous beyond words.

Asdzaananahoghasi said...

De -enroll students from Tucson Unified School District.

DrCintli said...


the important thing to remember is that Indigenous Studies/Native authors are not collateral damage in this; it is precisely the indigeneity that is being attacked and targeted.. both peoples and knowledge. If Mexican American studies focused on Spanish or Hispanic topics, then the program would be left alone. It would be in compliance. But instead, it is founded upon maiz or Indigenous knowledge. That's why the students read both Mexican American and Indigenous writers, etc. This is a civilizational war. This is a throwback to the era of reducciones and autos de fe... and boarding school. The Horne-Huppenthal-Pedicone axis want watered down Hispanic studies that celebrates tacos, cinco de mayo and maybe a watered down Cesar Chavez.
Thanks always for who you are and for what you represent to all peoples... our community respects and is always thankful for all you do... hopoe you still are able to speak to my Indigenous Thinkers/Indigenous Philosophers class... will follow up. thanks Roberto Rodriguez

Lizzie07 said...

The librotraficante movement has expanded and I think Native people need to get together to start something like that it is often the case that Native "voices" are silenced in the US media someone needs to start this NOW.