Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC


An Indigenous Writer's Journey: Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System on Native American Reservations

Wed, January 25, 2023
Dinner Program
David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Interspersed with readings, Lakota author David Heska Wanbli Weiden will discuss his journey from a first-generation college student to bestselling writer. He'll also speak about the numerous criminal justice policies enacted by the U.S. government that harm Native American nations and their citizens, and how these laws contribute to the growing problem of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). 

Mr. Weiden will deliver the 2022-23 Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' Ricardo J. Quinones Lecture.

Photo credit: Sarah Boyum

David Heska Wanbli Weiden, an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota Nation, is the author of Winter Counts (Ecco, 2020), which was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. The book was the winner of the Anthony, Thriller, Lefty, Barry, Macavity, Spur, High Plains, Electa Quinney, Tillie Olsen, CrimeFest (UK), Crime Fiction Lover (UK) Awards, and was longlisted for the Hammett Prize, Shamus Award, Colorado Book Award, Reading the West Award, and the VCU Cabell First Novel Award. The novel was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, an Indie Next pick, main selection of the Book of the Month Club, and named a Best Book of the year by NPR, Amazon, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The Guardian, and other magazines.

Weiden has short stories appearing or forthcoming in the anthologies Best American Mystery and Suspense Stories 2022, Denver Noir, Midnight Hour, This Time for Sure, Never Whistle at Night, and The Perfect Crime. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Shenandoah,  and Writer’s Digest.

He is the series editor of Native Edge, an imprint of the University of New Mexico Press specializing in Indigenous literature. Weiden received the PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship and is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from MacDowell, Ucross, Ragdale, Vermont Studio Center, Sewanee, and Tin House.

Weiden received his MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He’s professor of Native American studies and political science at Metropolitan State University of Denver and serves on the faculty of the Cedar Crest Pan-European MFA Program and also the Mile-High MFA Program at Regis University.

Mr. Weiden will deliver the 2022-23 Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' Ricardo J. Quinones Lecture.

(Adapted from

Photo credit: Sarah Boyum


View Video: You Tube with David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
385 E. Eighth Street
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 607-8244


Phone: (909) 621-8244
Fax: (909) 621-8579