Gordon Henry Receives MSU Distinguished Partnership Award

Gordon Henry, John Norder, and Christie Poitra have received the 2017 Michigan State University Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Creative Activities from the MSU Office of Outreach and Engagement for their work on the Indigistory project.

Indigistory is a collaborative partnership between the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal CollegeMSU’s Native American Institute (NAI)Michigan History CenterMSU Hub for Innovation Learning and Technology, and MSU’s College of Arts & Letters. It was started by Henry, Professor in MSU’s Department of English.

portrait of a man with brown hair and glasses
Professor Gordon Henry

“This award would not have been possible without our community partners and the work and creative vision of Dr. Henry,” said Poitra, Assistant Director of the Native American Institute. “I am inspired by the stories and am honored to be a part of the project.”

The purpose of Indigistory is to provide American Indian youth and community members with support and resources to produce digital stories (i.e., short films) about their families, tribes, cultures, languages, and life experiences. Over the past five years, the work of Indigistory has resulted in more than 40 short films written, directed, and produced by American Indians, and eight film festivals.

“The team was very honored to receive the announcement about the award,” said Norder, Director of the Native American Institute and Associate Professor. “Indigistory has been one of our longest term partnerships since I began at the Native American Institute, and it has been and continues to be one of our most rewarding.” 

In 2016, Michigan State University introduced the Distinguished Partnership Awards, a series of four new university-wide recognitions for highly engaged and scholarly community-based work that has positive impacts on both the community and scholarship.

The awards are given in four categories: community-engaged research, creative activities, teaching, and service. Each of these awards is jointly conferred on a faculty recipient and her/his community partner(s) and comes with a shared stipend of $1,500. The four award recipients also are finalists for the Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

Written by the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources