Mitákuye Oyásʼiŋ and the Sovereignty in Language

Racing Magpie
Rapid City, SD

Saturday, Nov 6, 2021
5:30pm EDT / 2:30pm PDT
Workshop: 60 min

Partner Session
Organized by 2021 Convening Partner Racing Magpie
Presenters: Mary Bordeaux, Clementine Bordeaux, Layli Long Soldier

This workshop will introduce ideas of collaborative authorship and creation as pathways to decentralize individuality into more fluid, egalitarian relationships of community. This workshop aims to free participants from fixed forms of English syntax and grammar, and refresh an appreciation and joy in the particulars of language, image, and sound; that is, to strengthen the senses by creating alternate logics. In this, new kinds of sovereignty over language can be found. By loosening the reins over line and content, participants will be encouraged to build trust amongst one another as co-collaborators, with their readers, and with language itself. Session presenters will share methods from Dadaism as well as Lakota values and views toward relationship—all of which, in this exercise, will serve to level accepted power structures and western hierarchies of language use. Participants will need access to paper and pen/cil.


Mary V. Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota) is the co-founder and creative director of Racing Magpie, a collaborative space with a Native art gallery and artist studios in Mnilúzahaŋ Otȟúŋwah (Rapid City, SD). She received her bachelor’s degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts and MFA from the University of the Arts, both degrees are in museum studies with an emphasis in exhibition design and planning. Mary is currently a doctoral candidate at Saint Mary’s University, exploring Lakota women’s leadership. Mary has held curatorial positions with The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School and The Indian Museum of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial.

Clementine Bordeaux (Sičáŋǧu Oglála Lakóta) is an independent artist and doctoral candidate in the the World Arts and Cultures department at The University of California, Los Angeles. Clementine also sits on the Board for Cornerstone Theatre Company (LA) and is a collaborator for Racing Magpie arts consulting organization in South Dakota.

Layli Long Soldier (Oglála Lakóta) earned a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA with honors from Bard College. She is the author of the chapbook Chromosomory (2010) and the full-length collection Whereas (2017), which won the National Books Critics Circle award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has been a contributing editor to Drunken Boat and poetry editor at Kore Press; in 2012, her participatory installation, Whereas We Respond, was featured on the Pine Ridge Reservation. In 2015, Long Soldier was awarded a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry. She was awarded a Whiting Writer’s Award in 2016. Long Soldier is a citizen of the Oglála Lakóta Nation and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.