Perpich News

Allison Waukau Presents in Inaugural Native Authors Series

Allison Waukau was the first presenter in Perpich’s new Native Authors Series

January 24, 2024

On January 23, 2024, Allison Waukau was the first presenter in the new Native Authors Series hosted by Perpich’s Professional Development and Resource Programs (PDR). The series of guest speakers is specifically designed to introduce K-12 educators and librarians to books by Dakota and Ojibwe authors and illustrators. Each gathering features an interview and Q&A with a guest presenter, resource lists, and includes time in the Perpich Library to peruse our extensive collection of books by Native authors.

Dr. Wendy Barden, Director of PDR, said, “What a great beginning to our Native Authors series! Allison was able to provide context for our series. She shared many books that I look forward to reading and that we will pass along to Minnesota teachers. I hope people will take time to view her presentation and interview, to be posted on our website soon.”

Perpich Librarian, Anne Dennison, said, “Allison’s presentation was enlightening and informative. It was chock full of resources in the form of books, websites, and organizations which will help the attendees – largely made up of librarians and teachers – better equip their schools and organizations with high-quality materials with Native representation that are culturally relevant and appropriate. It was wonderful to have everyone visit the Perpich Library afterward to take a peek at our own Native American collection, which focuses primarily on the Ojibwe and Dakota tribes of Minnesota.”

Waukau is the Tribal Liaison & Native Relations Coordinator for the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities, and serves as president of the American Indian Library Association. This past fall, Allison served as the Native American Exhibition Outreach Assistant at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. And, for five years, Allison served as the American Indian Community Liaison at the Hennepin County Library, where she was instrumental in raising Native representation on the shelves and behind the scenes, making libraries more welcoming to Native community members.

Waukau (right) is joined by Dr. Stephanie Lein Walseth (left), Perpich Education Specialist in Theater, who served as emcee for the evening.

Allison holds a B.A. in Humanities from Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO. She has presented at various conferences, including the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries & Museums and the Minnesota Library Association Conference. She is the recipient of the 2021 Mover & Shaker Award from Library Journal and the Rising Leader Award from the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color.