GORDON HENRY, JR.
Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair
North American Indian and Indigenous Literary Studies
Professor, Department of English
College of Arts and Letters
Dr. Gordon Henry is an accomplished poet, activist teacher-scholar, and a registered citizen of the White Earth Anishinaabe Nation, as well as an award-winning creative scholar with an international reputation. Some of his greatest passions include highlighting Indigenous storytellers and preserving their cultural heritage through his co-edited book series with MSU Press, American Indian Studies Series. He has also co-edited the collection of North American Indigenous graphic literature, Not (Just) (An)other. Most recently, his work was included in U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s, Living Nations, Living Words project. Henry also has served as Gordon Russell Visiting Scholar twice at Dartmouth College that led to the co-edited, Afterlives of Indigenous Archives. His works have appeared in translation internationally and have included community members, scholars, and creators.
In his past capacity as director of the Native American Institute (2010-2014), Henry co-created a Native American Youth Summer Film Camp, collaborated with the Center for Regional Food Systems on a webinar series on “Tribal Agriculture and Natural Resources,” and worked with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on the Michigan Tribal Economic Forum.
Henry’s work is constantly evolving to meet current needs including the digital humanities storytelling project, Indigistory, which was the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Creative Activity. This award-winning project resulted in multiple community digital storytelling workshops, as well as programming for Indigenous people throughout the state of Michigan.
Henry organized and continues to serve on the Wewaawiindamojig (Indigenous Advisory Board) that has funded numerous Anishinaabe community language and culture events and initiatives.
This spring, Henry plans to release a book of poetry titled, Spirit Matters: White Clay, Red Exits, Distant Others.