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Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee)

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Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee) is a poet, writer, lecturer, curator and policy advocate, who has helped Native Peoples recover more than one million acres of land, including many sacred places. She has developed key laws in four decades to promote and protect Native nations, sovereignty, children, arts, cultures and languages. Former Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians, she was Legislative Liaison for two law firms and served on the Native American Policy Committee for Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and as an Advisor to the Transition in 2008-2009.

Ms. Harjo is President of The Morning Star Institute, a national Native rights organization founded in 1984 for Native Peoples’ traditional and cultural advocacy, arts promotion and research. Ms. Harjo is one of seven Native people who filed the 1992 landmark case, Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc., against the disparaging name of the Washington football team.  Ms. Harjo organized an identical suit, Blackhorse et al v. Pro Football, Inc., which was filed in 2006 by six Native young people. In 2010, Ms. Harjo and five other Native people filed formal protests of new trademark requests. Ms. Harjo is Guest Curator and General Editor for the National Museum of the American Indian’s upcoming exhibit and book, Treaties: Great Nations In Their Own Words. She serves on the Banff Centre Aboriginal Program Council, the Working Group on Unidentified Human Remains and the Mount Graham Coalition.   Ms. Harjo was “Seeing Red” Co-Producer and Drama & Literature Director for the Pacifica Network’s WBAI-FM Radio in New York City.  She was News Director of the American Indian Press Association and Founding Co-Chair of The Howard Simons Fund for American Indian Journalists. Award-winning Columnist for Indian Country Today (2000-2007).

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