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Welch Native American Lit Festival Set For July 28-20

Mark your calendars for July 28–30, when the first ever James Welch Native American Lit Festival will debut in Missoula. Humanities Montana is a proud funder of this event, the only festival devoted solely to celebrating contemporary Native American literature in the country.

The festival will be free to the public and will feature panels and discussions featuring Louise Erdrich, Tommy Orange, David Treuer, Kelli Jo Ford, Brandon Hobson, Victor Charlo, Heather Cahoon, M.L. Smoker and many other nationally acclaimed writers. In addition to panels on thrillers and speculative fiction, poetry, non-fiction/memoir and what it’s like to live and write as a Native writer, the festival will feature several open-mic opportunities. Lois Welch will read from her memoir about her life, including Jim and Debra Magpie Earling talking about Welch’s impact on her and her work.

All festival events are free and open to the public. A schedule of events is available at

The festival is organized under the auspices of a small nonprofit, the Aasaisstto Language Society, and through the volunteer efforts of a small group that includes Sterling HolyWhiteMountain (Blackfeet), Lois Welch and Adrian Jawort (Northern Cheyenne).

The directors of Humanities Montana voted to support the festival with a grant of $10,000. Other supporting organizations include the President’s Office at the University of Montana, the Pleiades Foundation, the Montana Arts Council, Stockman Bank and individual donors.

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