Author, Activist, Writer, Educator, and Tribal Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
Greg Sarris was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. After graduating from Santa Rosa High School in 1970, he attended Santa Rosa Junior College, which prepared him to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree at UCLA. Graduating from UCLA in 1977 summa cum laude, Greg then went on to complete his graduate studies at Stanford University,…
Greg Sarris was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. After graduating from Santa Rosa High School in 1970, he attended Santa Rosa Junior College, which prepared him to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree at UCLA. Graduating from UCLA in 1977 summa cum laude, Greg then went on to complete his graduate studies at Stanford University, earning two Master’s degrees in record time.
While working as a teaching assistant and doctoral candidate at Stanford, Greg was awarded the prestigious Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is an award that is generally only given to full professors. Once Greg attained his PhD in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford in 1989, he worked as a full professor of English at UCLA, teaching American and Native American Literature, and Creative Writing from 1989 until 2001.
From 2001 to 2005 Greg then went on to become the Fletcher Jones Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Loyola Marymount University. And from 2005 to present, Greg has held the Graton Rancheria Endowed Chair in Writing and Native American Studies at Sonoma State University.
Greg Sarris has published notable books, including; Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts (1993), a widely anthologized collection of essays; Grand Avenue (1994), Greg’s highly acclaimed and awarded collection of short stories that was adapted for an HBO Miniseries of the same name, co-executive produced by Robert Redford. One of the most recent books by Greg Sarris, Watermelon Nights (1999) was widely celebrated and received rave reviews. It was even adapted for a play by the Santa Rosa Junior College Theatre Arts Department. Greg acted as editor (with Connie Jacobs and James Giles) on Teaching the Work of Louise Eldrich (2004), an approach to teaching world literature. Greg has also written plays for Pieces of the Quilt, Intersection Theatre, and the Mark Taper Forum.
Greg’s play “Mission Indians” opened at Intersection Theatre in San Francisco in February 2002. It went on to receive the 2003 Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for Best Script. He also co-produced, advised, and was featured in a sixteen part series on American literature for public television called, “American Passages”, which won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Documentary in 2003. Greg’s collection of children stories (soon to be published as How A Mountain Was Made) was performed in 2012 by the Word for Word Performing Arts Company at Z Space in San Francisco. He has also written two pilot scripts for Showtime and one for HBO. Greg regularly works with the Sundance Institute (reviewing and revising scripts) where he helped develop a summer writing lab for American Indians interested in film writing. He also sits on several boards including, the National Video Project, and Word for Word Theatre, where he is Honorary President.
Greg is currently serving his thirteenth term as Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, his tribe which was formerly known as the Federated Coast Miwok. Tribal Chairman Greg Sarris co-authored a bill, H.R. 5528, on behalf of his tribe, and on December 27th, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed this bill, restoring the Federated Coast Miwok as a recognized American Indian Tribe.
Greg now lives and works in his beloved Sonoma County.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Betting Big on a Native Dream
Describes how his people (descendants of Coastal Miwok and Southern Pomo) are using their understanding that they have always been a part of the natural world to embark on a major commitment to position themselves as “keepers of the land” once again. Using ancient ethics and aesthetics of place, bolstered by casino revenues, the 1,300 member tribe has partnered with county and state officials to secure and restore large tracts of open space, as well as to convert local farms to the production of organic produce for the low-income and needy, thus creating a model of local restoration and sustainability
Geography of Hope
Ancestors and the Land: Our Past, Present, and Future
Greg Sarris - Betting Big on a Native Dream - Bioneers
2017 Geography of Hope: Greg Sarris
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