Past Event: "First Generation Off the Reservation" with Muriel Miguel & Louis Mofsie

When: Tuesday, November 5, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Price: $12 & up | $10 Museum Members
11.5 updated event image
Muriel Miguel at age 5, Still from “Louis Mofsie on The Thunderbirds’ 41st Annual Grand Mid-Summer Pow Wow”, film featured in Urban Indian: Native New York Now, photograph of Louis Mofsie

Join artists Muriel Miguel and Louis Mofsie for an intimate conversation about growing up in the 1940s and '50s as “first generation” Native New Yorkers born and raised in Brooklyn, not on a reservation.  As teenagers, Mofsie and Miguel formed the Little Eagles, a performance group which eventually became the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, the city’s oldest resident Native American dance company. While Mofsie still acts as the director, Miguel went on to found Spiderwoman Theater, the longest running Indigenous feminist theater company on Turtle Island (i.e., North America). The two will sit down with performer Soni Moreno to consider how their work as performers, directors, choreographers, and educators has been influenced and informed by their experiences as Native New Yorkers. 

The program will begin with opening remarks from David Martine, Shinnecock Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Educator, Artist, and Chairperson, AMERINDA.

This program is co-presented with the American Indian Community House and AMERINDA.

About the Speakers:
Muriel Miguel from the Kuna and Rappahannock nations is a choreographer, director and actor. She is the founder and artistic director of Spiderwoman Theater, the longest running Native feminist theater in North America.  Miguel is a 2018 Doris Duke Artist and a 2016 John S. Guggenheim Fellow. She received an Honorary DFA from Miami University in Ohio; is a member of the National Theatre Conference and attended the Rauschenberg Residency in 2015. She has pioneered Spiderwoman Theater's story-weaving process and with that, the development of a culturally-based Indigenous performance methodology.

Louis Mofsie is a choreographer and the director and a founding member of the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, a New York-based multi-ethnic dance troupe who have performed throughout New York State, as well as nationally and internationally.  In addition to performing, Mofsie is also a choreographer; past credits include “Operation Sidewinder” with the Lincoln Center Repertory Company and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” with Mercer Arts Center. Born in Brooklyn, Mofsie’s father is Hopi, from Arizona, and his mother Winnebago, from Nebraska.  

Soni Moreno (moderator) (Mayan/Apache/Yaqui) is a New York City based performer.  Moreno is a founder of the Native American women’s a cappella group, Ulali. She has collaborated with many performers through her work with the American Indian Community House (AICH) including musicians Jim Pepper and Robbie Robertson. Moreno also performs with Matou, a group of Indigenous musicians and performers and appeared on Broadway in The Leaf People.

This program accompanies our exhibition Urban Indian: Native New York Now (on view through March 8, 2020).

$15 for Adults | $12 for Seniors, Students, and Educators (with ID)
$10 for Museum Members

Members: To receive your discount, click on the "Buy Tickets" button above, then sign in to your account on the ticketing page.

Groups of 10 or more get discounts; contact us at or 917.492.3395.

Accessibility: Assistive listening devices are available and our auditorium wheelchair lift can accommodate manual and motorized wheelchairs (max. capacity 500 lbs). Please contact the Museum at 917.492.3333 or with any questions.


The Museum gratefully acknowledges The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's support for exhibition co-curator Dr. Rebecca Jacobs's fellowship. Urban Indian: Native New York Now is her capstone project.

Additional support provided by Valerie and John W. Rowe, Julie Hayes, Heidi and Jeffrey Jacobs, and the Friends of Urban Indian.

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