The Native literary community suffered a very public loss when author Sherman Alexie admitted to sexually harassing women. But Alexie was only one of the most visible indigenous writers. Many Native people have written strong literary work for a long time, from Leslie Marmon Silko to Joy Harjo to N. Scott Momaday. At BuzzFeed, Anne Helen Petersen reports on the new generation who is redefining indigenous literature, and how these writers are reclaiming the means of production in the form of their own creative writing programs.

Traditional MFA programs are very Eurocentric, just as American commercial publishing is Eurocentric. Native American tribes have ancient oral traditions, proving again and again that there are many ways to tell stories outside the Western tradition. Now Native American writers have the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) MFA program to provide room to create art unburdened by white aesthetic standards. Founded…

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