Defining Indigeneity

: Beverly Singer (USA), Luis Millones (Peru), Kent Monkman (Canadá), Ailton Krenak (Brasil).

Moderator: Ivete Walty, PUC/MG/Brasil


Beverly R. Singer is from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose video productions explore the subject of cultural revitalizing in Native American communities. She is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies and former director of the Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies at the University of New Mexico. She has previously worked in New York City as public programs specialist with the Museum of the American Indian film and Video Center, and taught at Parsons School of Design and at California Polytechnic State University. She received her Ph.D. in American studies from the University of New Mexico; M.A. in Administration from University of Chicago; B.A. in Social Welfare/Psychology from the College of Santa Fe; and film training at the Anthropology Film Center in Santa Fe.

Luis Millones: Outstanding anthropologist and historian of the Andean Cultures and author of numerous works on those themes, he currently studies the condition of “being Native" in Peru. For doing so, he works from a historical perspective, since without knowledge of what happened in the past, present is beyond understanding. The relationship among ethnic groups, and, in general, the effects of the genocide that the European occupation of America brought about are similar in other parts of the continent but, as for South America, it was particularly intense in Peru, due to the role that the original civilization in that country had, not only among the Incas but also among other groups who used to hold the hegemony before the Incas.

Kent Monkman is a filmmaker and visual artist who began his exploration in the arts as a painter: his paintings have been displayed in galleries across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. His strong visual background is visible in the award winning experimental dance video he directed, A Nation is Coming, featuring dancer/choreographer Michael Greyeyes. Kent is Swampy Cree (Canadian) and English/Irish. He is a member of the Fisher River Band in northern Manitoba.

Ailton Krenak is a native leader recognized within and outside of Brazil. As a founder of the Núcleo de Cultura Indígena (Native Culture Centre), he was involved in the elaboration of the Brazilian Constitutional Text (1988). He created and directed the Centro de Pesquisa Indígena and Núcleo de Direitos Indígenas (Native Research Centre and Centre of Native Rights). He has been the leader of the Embaixada dos Povos da Floresta, a cultural center in São Paulo that gathered native people from the Amazon Forest and that spreads the culture and the knowledge of the traditional people from Brazil. For his fight in defense of the native people he was honored with the Direitos Humanos Lettelier-Moffit and Homem e Sociedade Prizes from Fundação Onassis. Nowadays, he works as Assistant for Native Issues for the State Government of Minas Gerais.

Ivete Lara Camargos Walty: Professor and Co-ordinator of the Post-Graduate Program in Letters at PUC Minas. Retired Professor from the Faculdade de Letras/UFMG. PhD in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature/USP. CNPq Researcher. Publications include the essay "Future’s memory: native peoples' voices in Latin America’s society"– in Primitivism and Identity in Latin America, edited by Erik Camayd-Freixas and José Eduardo González. Tucson: Arizona University Press, 2000.