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Sep 28, 2023

NEH Chair visits Mahpiya Luta


Shelly C. Lowe, Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities visits Maȟpíya Lúta

During her broader trip to South Dakota, Chair Shelly C. Lowe made a special visit to connect with the Maȟpíya Lúta staff on September 21st, 2023. Chair Lowe, a proud member of the Navajo Nation, holds the distinction of being the first American Indian to chair the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Accompanied by her team and representatives from the South Dakota Humanities Council, Chair Lowe engaged in an insightful exploration of Maȟpíya Lúta’s initiatives, with a particular focus on the Truth and Healing Initiative, including its oral history project. Additionally, they had the opportunity to tour The Heritage Center and peruse our latest exhibit,The Gift. Later in her visit, Chair Lowe assumed the role of moderator for a panel titled “Writing about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons” as part of the 2023 South Dakota Festival of Books.

Executive Vice President Tashina Banks Rama expressed her appreciation, stating, “We consider it a great honor that Chair Lowe took the time to acquaint herself with our Truth and Healing endeavors firsthand. We are wholeheartedly supportive of her leadership as Chair of NEH.”

Chair Lowe, a proud citizen of the Navajo Nation hailing from Ganado, Arizona, received confirmation from the U.S. Senate on February 2, 2022, and officially assumed office on February 14, 2022. Her impressive career includes previous roles such as Executive Director of the Harvard University Native American Program, Assistant Dean within the Yale College Dean’s Office, and Director of the Native American Cultural Center at Yale University.

For the latest updates and insights from Chair Lowe, be sure to follow her on Twitter: @NEHchair.