Speaker: Heath Vittum Fuller

Living Traditions – Artistic and Literary Expression and Indigenous American Worldviews

This talk will provide a very brief introduction to some of the artistic and literary traditions of Turtle Island (Indigenous America). Both visual and literary forms of expression have been, and continue to be, important vessels for Indigenous worldviews. Spending time with, and centering, these perspectives is valuable for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that these are the traditions that have known and interpreted these lands and waters for thousands of years. We will learn a bit about the history of colonization, the attempted genocide of Indigenous peoples, and the clear attempt to destroy traditional lifeways and worldviews. That will be followed by a brief overview of cultural preservation, survivance, and the ongoing living artistic and literary traditions that carry these cultural perspectives into the modern world. A few contemporary artists and writers will be introduced, and resources will be provided for further research and learning.


Heath was born and raised in Vermont but traveled and lived in many places before returning home. Heath holds a BFA in Theatre and Religious Studies from New York University and an MA in Religious Studies and Art History from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. They have academic experience in Religious Studies, Art History, Feminist Art History, Cultural Anthropology, Theatre, and Literature. Heath is committed to the study of meaning making systems and the artistic and material practices and cultures of all peoples. They believe that the study of these elements of culture can help us to understand and care for each other, leading to more profound understanding, empathy, and compassion between individuals, communities, and cultures. Heath is now grateful to live with their amazing family on a rich and vibrant part of the land that sweeps up the side of Mt Mansfield.