Many Voices, One Center

Our 2020 conference will be held April 2 – 4 at Mystic Lake Hotel and Casino. 

The Native American Literature Symposium is organized by an independent group of Indigenous scholars committed to making a place where Native voices can be heard. Since 2001, we have brought together some of the most influential voices in Native America to share our stories—in art, prose, poetry, film, religion, history, politics, music, philosophy, and science—from our worldview. This year’s conference theme is 2020 HINDSIGHT!


Download the NALS 2019 PROGRAM

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NALS 2019 KEYNOTES FINALJennifer Foerster’s image, source, Tim Tingle’s image, source, Theo Van Alst’s image (edited), source



Jennifer Elise Foerster is the author of poetry collections Bright Raft in the Afterweather (2018) and Leaving Tulsa (2013) – both published by the University of Arizona Press. Her work has also been anthologized in New Poets of Native Nations (2018), Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (2019), and Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas (2011), among others. Foerster is of German, Dutch, and Mvskoke descent, and is a member of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma.

Smokii Sumac is a proud member of the Ktunaxa nation. His debut poetry collection, You are enough: love poems for the end of the world (Kegedonce Press 2018), began as a kind of daily online poetry journal (hashtag #haikuaday) and ended up brilliant work of heartfelt storytelling. The collection brings readers through two years of life as a Ktunaxa Two-Spirit person.


Photographer, writer, and scholar, Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. (Lakota descent) is a unique voice in the literary community. His linked short story collection, Sacred Smokes, which introduces a character who defies all stereotypes about urban life and Indians, was published July 2018 by the University of New Mexico Press. His writing and photography can be found in The Rumpus, Indian Country Today, Entropy, Electric Literature, The Raven Chronicles, Literary Orphans, High Desert Journal, and Yellow Medicine Review, among others.

Tim Tingle is an award-winning author, skilled storyteller, and an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. In 1835, his great-great grandfather, John Carnes, walked the Trail of Tears. The passed-down memories of this family epic were fuel to Tingle’s early interest in writing and storytelling. Among his most recent accomplishments, Tingle has won the American Indian Youth Literature Award for his novels House Of Purple Cedar (2016) and How I Became a Ghost (2014).


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