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Common Read 2020: There There: Home

Land Acknowledgement

South Dakota State University is located in the ancestral territory of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires), an alliance that consists of the Isanti (Santee), Ihanktunwan (Yankton), and Titunwan (Teton) Lakota peoples.

What is a Land Acknowledgement?

"An Indigenous Land or Territorial Acknowledgement is a statement that recognizes the Indigenous peoples who have been dispossessed from the homelands and territories upon which an institution was built and currently occupies and operates in." -

There There

Tommy Orange’s shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. There is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and working to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, who is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death, has come to work at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil has come to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism.

- From Alfred A. Knopf

About the Common Read Program

Each Year, Honors College champions a campus and community Common Read experience. This initiative is designed to bring together people from all areas of campus and the Brookings Community to learn, discuss, and engage a singular, impactful book and associated themes. 

The Common Read started in 2009. It was originally designed to raise the level of academic challenge at SDSU, enhance our awareness of diverse perspectives, increase faculty and student interaction, encourage service, and promote enriching, engaging educational experiences both in and outside class.

Throughout the fall semester, the Common Read Committee partners with the Brookings Human Rights Commission and other campus and community groups to sponsor and support Common Read events on campus and within the Brookings community. These strong partnerships garner a large amount of campus and community support and involvement with teh Common Read.

Taken from the Honors College website.


About the Author


Born in Oakland, California, Tommy Orange is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He received his MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and published his debut novel, There There, in 2018. 

Interviews and Profiles of Tommy Orange

Borrow from Briggs Library


Doing research on a topic related to "There There"? Start by searching in the databases below. For more information, check out the American Indian Studies Research Guide or contact a librarian!

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