American Indian poet, performance artist and activist John Trudell will present a program called “Heartspeak: Spoken Words of Poetry from the Heart” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, in Brady Educational Center.

The program, free and open to the public, is sponsored by St. Thomas Activities and Recreation (STAR); the University of Minnesota’s American Indian Learning Resource Center and American Indian Studies Department; and Honor the Earth, a national organization that raises funds for American Indian environmental causes.

Trudell will discuss, from an American Indian perspective, social problems faced by everyone. He will suggest solutions to those problems; talk about religion, history and the importance of creating community in today’s society; and read from his book, Stickman.

Trudell, 53 and a native of Omaha, Neb., was national chairman from 1973 to 1979 of the American Indian Movement. He began writing poetry as a form of therapy 20 years ago after a fire killed his wife, three children and mother-in-law. He since has united poetry and music on nine albums. His most recent is the 1999 “Blue Indians,” produced by longtime friend Jackson Browne. The album, he says, “is literally about the technical world as an industrial reservation. This time everyone plays the part of the Indian with their range of feelings and attitudes.”

He also has appeared in eight films, including “Powwow Highway,” “Incident at Oglala,” and most recently the 1998 “Smoke Signals.”

For more information about Trudell’s Nov. 17 program, call (612) 909-4334.


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