Two years ago, Emma Slibeck ’20 and Tomafa Tomzecke ’21 founded NAPA (Natives@PA) to create a space for Indigenous students to explore their identities and carve out space for their narratives in Andover’s story. In recognition of Indigenous People’s Day, they hosted Adrienne Keene, writer, blogger and professor of Native and Indigenous Cultural Studies to campus whose own activism was activated when she was a student at Harvard University.
Keene (Cherokee Nation) launched her blog, Native Appropriations, in 2016 and used her platform to challenge representations of Native peoples in pop culture, fashion and film. Her pieces on cultural appropriation and mascots were nationally recognized for their poignancy and remain just as relevant today. In addition to her blog, Keene co-founded her podcast, All My Relations, two years ago with artist Matika Wilder. Since its launch, she has provided a platform for other Native scholars, fashion icons and authors to share their work and their truth with a larger audience.
Through her writing and activism, Keene questions and problematizes the ways indigenous peoples are represented, asking for celebrities, corporations, and designers to consider the ways they incorporate “Native” elements into their work. She is very interested in the way Native peoples are using social and new media to challenge misrepresentations and present counter-narratives that showcase true Native cultures and identities.
Keene is an assistant professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University. She earned a BA from Stanford University in Native American Studies and Cultural Anthropology, and a doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Education, in culture, communities, and education.