Meditation on Ceremonies of Beginnings: The Tribal College and World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium Poems

Meditation on Ceremonies of Beginnings: The Tribal College and World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium Poems

by Thomas Davis


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Thirty years ago, tribal college educator and poet Thomas Davis began writing poems about the tribal college movement, beginning with the founding of College of Menominee Nation in Northern Wisconsin. He had no intention of developing a book out of the poems, using napkins and scraps of papers to create a mostly free verse poetry that chronicled the events and people trying to build a new kind of educational system that would preserve and evolve Indigenous language, history, and culture. Davis gave these poems away and many were lost. Until now.

Meditation on the Ceremonies of Beginnings is a new kind of narrative poetry, an informal history of the tribal college movement and the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium told through poetic verse. It recounts, as acclaimed poet Kimberly Blaeser (Ojibwe) says, "the liquid fire of oratory" becoming "the great song a movement sings." Meditation on Ceremonies of Beginnings captures the dreams and vision of Indigenous leaders in higher education. It tells their story, illuminating how two great movements set out to change the world and succeeded in a multitude of ways, both big and small.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984547241
Publisher: American Indian Higher Education Consortium
Publication date: 11/16/2020
Pages: 202
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

Thomas Davis has had a long career in American Indian education, beginning with the founding of the Menominee County Community School in Northern Wisconsin and later the College of Menominee Nation. He has served as president or chief academic officer at Lac Courtes Oreilles Ojibwe College, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Little Priest Tribal College, and Navajo Technical University. At Bay Mills Community College, he worked with Indian Head Start in Washington, DC to establish one of the earliest virtual degree-granting programs in the United States.
Davis has had an equally long career as a poet and writer. His novel, In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams, won the Edna Ferber Fiction Award in 2019. He has had two book-length epic poems published, The Weirding Storm, A Dragon Epic and An American Spirit, An American Epic. His acclaimed nonfiction book, Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit focuses on the sustainable development history and practices of the Menominee Indians of Northern Wisconsin. Davis has edited three small magazines and, with his wife, the poet-artist Ethel Mortenson Davis, owns Four Windows Press, a small publishing house.

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