Journalist Mark Anthony Rolo investigates ongoing struggle for Native American survival

Rolo's lecture focuses on two-part PBS series titled, 'Indian Country Diaries' | November 1, 2006

Native American journalist Mark Anthony Rolo is speaking on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 4:30 p.m. in Kelley Auditorium as part of Xavier’s Equity & Excellence series and in observance of National American Indian Heritage Month. His lecture focuses on a two-part PBS series titled “Indian Country Diaries.”

Rolo is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. A journalist, playwright and novelist, he narrated “A Seat at the Drum,” part one of the TV series that is airing Nov. 12 and 19. In the documentary, he travels to Los Angeles, where he explores the plight of thousands of American Indian families who relocated there in the last half of the 20th century, creating the largest Native American community in the nation. He reflects on that experience as it offers insights into Native American culture and identity, as well as the impact of the media, economics, health and education on the ongoing struggle for Native American survival.

Rolo is former executive director of the Native American Journalists Association, former Washington Bureau Chief for the national weekly Indian Country Today, and former editor of The Circle newspaper, based in Minneapolis. He edited the second edition of The American Indian and the Media, essays from native journalists on covering Indian Country. A Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab fellow, he has written and directed six plays staged in the Twin Cities. In the summer of 2005, his play, "Mama Earth Loves Lace," was produced by Thunder Road Theatre Company in Tulsa. His first novel, The Wonder Bull, was recently published. He has taught at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, and is a guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.