Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

2023 IAIA Commencement Ceremony on May 13


April 20, 2023

Please join the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) for the 2023 Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 10 am (MDT), which will take place in the Performing Arts and Fitness Center on the IAIA campus.

This year's program will feature keynote speaker Jeffrey Gibson, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee descent, who has been selected to give the commencement address. In addition to delivering the commencement address, Gibson will also be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree during the ceremony. Jeffrey Gibson's work fuses his Choctaw and Cherokee heritage and experience of living in Europe, Asia, and the USA with references that span club culture, queer theory, fashion, politics, literature and art history. The artist's multi-faceted practice incorporates painting, performance, sculpture, textiles and video, characterized by vibrant color and pattern. Gibson was born in 1972 in Colorado, and he currently lives and works in Hudson Valley, New York.

Previous recipients of the IAIA Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree have included notable persons such as W. Richard "Rick" West Jr. (Cheyenne and Arapaho), Charlene Teters (Spokane) '86, Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo), George Rivera (Pojoaque Pueblo) '84, Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi and Choctaw) '65, Dan Namingha (Hopi-Tewa) '69, Kevin Red Star (Crow), Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee), James Luna (Luiseño), N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa), Tony Abeyta (Navajo) '86, Dave Warren (Santa Clara Pueblo), and David Bradley (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe) '79.

The 2023 Commencement Ceremony will also include speeches from the class Valedictorian, American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) IAIA Student of the Year, MFA in Creative Writing Program student speaker, Faculty of the Year, IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee Nation), and IAIA Board of Trustees Chair Loren Kieve (Cherokee Nation).

IAIA will honor over 70 graduates this year, including our inaugural MFA in Studio Arts graduates. The students range in age from 17–61 and the average age is 35. The most common home states among the graduates encompass New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, and Washington.

The ceremony, free and open to the public, will be followed by the 2023 Spring IAIA Graduation Powwow in the Dance Circle at the center of campus. Lunch will be available on campus at Café Bon Appétit in the Center for Lifelong Education building.

A livestream of the commencement ceremony will also be available at

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Jason S. Ordaz, IAIA Communications Director, at

Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is the only college in the world dedicated to the study of contemporary Native American and Alaska Native arts. IAIA offers undergraduate degrees in Cinematic Arts and Technology, Creative Writing, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Museum Studies, Performing Arts, and Studio Arts; graduate degrees in Creative Writing, Studio Arts, and Cultural Administration; and certificates in Broadcast Journalism, Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History. The college serves approximately 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American students from around the globe, representing nearly a hundred federally recognized tribes. Named one of the top art institutions by UNESCO and the International Association of Art, IAIA is among the leading art institutes in our nation and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).


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