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Greg Sarris

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Name  Greg Sarris
Role  Writer
Movies  Grand Avenue

Greg Sarris Greg Sarris to speak at Santa Rosa Junior College Arts
Education  University of California, Los Angeles, Stanford University
People also search for  James Richard Giles, Daniel Sackheim, April Webster
Books  Mabel McKay, Watermelon nights, Keeping Slug Woman a, Grand Avenue, The Sound of Rattles and Clap

Greg sarris speaks at bioneers conference

Gregory Michael Sarris (born February 12, 1952) is a writer and academic. Along with Sherman Alexie, Paula Gunn Allen, and Leslie Marmon Silko, Sarris is a notable contributor to the second wave of what literary critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American Renaissance. Sarris’s best known work, Grand Avenue, is a collection of short stories about contemporary Native American life. Grand Avenue is a real place located in Santa Rosa’s South Park district and the stories are based on his own life. Sarris served as co-executive producer of the 1996 HBO miniseries adapted from Grand Avenue. The two part mini-series was shot entirely on location in Santa Rosa, California not far from where Sarris grew up.


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Greg Sarris was adopted shortly after his birth by a middle-class white couple, George and Mary Sarris, who believed they could not have children. Shortly after, they conceived the first of three biological children, which complicated life at home with his alcoholic father. Sarris was frequently the target of his stepfather’s abuse. In an effort to keep him out of harm’s way, he was sent to live with various white and American Indian foster families. At the age of 12, Sarris met Pomo basket weaver Mabel McKay, who taught him about American Indian customs and tradition. According to Sarris, McKay’s guidance provided him with a sense of purpose.


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After graduating from Santa Rosa High School in 1970, Sarris attended Santa Rosa Junior College. In 1977 he graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from UCLA. He went on to complete his graduate studies at Stanford University, earning a master's degree in creative writing in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature in 1989.


Greg Sarris Staff Spotlight Greg Sarris Sonoma State Star The universitys
  • 1989-2001 English professor, UCLA.
  • 2001-2005 Fletcher Jones Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Loyola Marymount University.
  • Endowed Chair in Native American Studies, Sonoma State University, 2005.
  • Consultant for Turner Broadcasting System on California Indians.
  • Tribal Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. 1992–Present. He is in his twelfth elected term as Chairman of the Tribe.
  • Ancestry

    Greg Sarris The enigmatic leader behind Rohnert Park casino The Press Democrat

    Greg Sarris’ mother, seventeen year old Mary Bernadette “Bunny” Hartman, of German, Jewish and Irish descent, came from a wealthy family. She was sent to Santa Rosa to deliver her child, which was not uncommon for unwed mothers at the time. She was inadvertently given the wrong blood type in a transfusion after giving birth, and died shortly thereafter. Sarris’ father was not named on the birth certificate. It wasn’t until the early 1980s as a graduate student at Stanford that Sarris learned Emilio Arthur Hilario, of Filipino, Miwok and Pomo descent, was his biological father. According to Sarris, he learned the identity of his great great grandparents from his grandfather, Emiliano Hilario. Hilario’s grandmother, Reinette Smith Sarragossa, was the daughter of Emily Stewart, a woman of mixed blood ancestry, and Tom Smith, a well-known healer of Pomo and Coastal Miwok blood. Official government records however, indicate that Sarris' maternal great great grandparents were Joseph Peter Stewart, a barber from Pennsylvania and Emily B. (Skanks) Stewart of Maine. Both were African-American. The family has been traced back to 1799.

    Greg Sarris Greg Sarris About

    Marilee Montgomery and Stop the Casino 101 Coalition dispute Sarris’s claim to have Pomo and Miwok blood. Sarris was at the forefront of the controversial Graton Resort and Casino project which was strongly opposed by Stop the Casino 101 Coalition.


    In the early 1990s, Sarris worked to have the Coast Miwok and Pomo Native Americans gain recognition as a tribe. He co-authored the Graton Rancheria Restoration Act, 25 U.S.C. §1300n (Act) with California Indian Legal Services. President Clinton signed the Act into law on December 27, 2000, officially granting the tribe status as a federally recognized tribe. The Act mandated that the Secretary of the Interior take land in the tribe's aboriginal territory of Marin or Sonoma Counties into trust as the Tribe's reservation.

    Published works

  • Watermelon Nights: A Novel, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Short story collections
  • Grand Avenue, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1994.
  • (Editor and contributor) The Sound of Rattles and Clappers: A Collection of New California Indian Writing, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 1994.
  • Nonfiction
  • Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1993.
  • Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1994.
  • (Editor, with Connie A. Jacobs and James R. Giles) Approaches to Teaching the Works of Louise Erdrich, Modern Language Association of America (New York, NY), 2004.
  • Film and Theater
  • Grand Avenue (television miniseries; based on his short story collection), Home Box Office, 1996.
  • Wrote script for Mission Indians, a play directed by Nancy Benjamin and Margo Hall, 2001.
  • Co-produced, advised, and was featured in a sixteen part series on American literature for public television called American Passages.
  • Achievements

  • Santa Fe Film Festival Award, best screenplay, and American Indian Film Festival Award, 1996, for Grand Avenue;
  • Best Reads Award, California Indian Booksellers, 1996;
  • Bay Area Theater Critics Award, best play, 2002, for Mission Indians.
  • Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1988-1989
  • University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellowship 1989-1991
  • Associate Director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 1991-1992.
  • Appointed to the MLA Committee on the Literatures and Languages of America, 1992.
  • References

    Greg Sarris Wikipedia