Indigenous Dances, Languages, and Representations with Tria and Mahka Blu Wakpa

14th April 2017 2pm – 4pm 


Claire Trevor School of the Arts

DS 128

Irvine, CA 92617

United States

Join Awaken Arts’ 2nd workshop for its Spring Dance Drum and Decolonization Series, taking place at UCI from April 6-May 26th.


Makha Blu Wakpa (Itázipčho, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ; Tsehitcihéndé,
Ndéé; Rarámuri) received a Master’s degree in American Indian
Studies and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Arizona. His
dissertation, Cyclical Continuity and Multimodal Language Planning For
Indigenous North America_ argues for the revitalization of Indigenous
spoken languages through Indigenous signed languages and gestures. Makha
has research and teaching interests at the intersection of culturally
relevant education, Indigenous language revitalization, and
anti-oppression facilitation. He works as an educational consultant,
engaging community, students, and school administrations through the
processes of Native American mascot transition and removal.

Tria Blu Wakpa is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Ethnic Studies Department at
UC Berkeley and a graduate of the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at
San Diego State University. Her dissertation, Native American
Embodiment in Educational and Carceral Contexts: Fixing, Eclipsing, and
Liberating, investigates the relationships among educational and
embodied programming at a former on-reservation boarding school and
contemporary tribal juvenile hall, located on the Rosebud Reservation.
Tria has recently published peer-reviewed articles in The American
Culture and Research Journal and Dance Research Journal. She has
taught a wide range of interdisciplinary and community-engaged courses
at public, private, tribal, and carceral institutions. Tria is also a
founder of Race and Yoga Working Group, Race and Yoga Conference, and
Race and Yoga Journal. She is grateful to have received support and
recognition from a variety of sources for her scholarly, creative, and
embodied work.


Dance, Drum, and Decolonization is a project born out of student responses to the UCI Dance Department’s Eurocentric dance curriculum which fails to address its blatantly distorted presentations of Dance history, and continues to erase people of color from our syllabus and school. Focusing on the African Diaspora and Indigenous history and cultural production, students have organized workshops in order to equip themselves with the tools needed to view dance critically as it is informed directly by colonialism, imperialism, anti-blackness, and black and indigenous resistance movements, while recognizing continuing social injustices perpetuated within the arts. AwakenArts and DDD sees dance as a vehicle to embody and learn about histories, contexts, using cultural literacy to mobilize and intervene.

If you would like to be involved and join our open discussions held weekly throughout Spring Quarter, (FRIDAYS AT 2:30) please join our group at

More info