Leora Gansworth, MA

Kristi Leora Gansworth (she/her) is an inter-generational Anishinabe beadwork artist & seamstress who also maintains a professional practice as a poet/writer, geographer/researcher, and facilitator. Her personal works are often focused on processes of healing, inter-generational learning, and developing expressive methodologies from the ways of life-affirming practice left behind by her Indigenous ancestors, the co-constitution of worlds. Through the contributions of many practitioners, academics, leaders, teachers, Elders, and healers whose work came before, her work is one node in a much wider community of Indigenous world-makers who build a sustainably joyful existence, in global settings. Leora is a citizen of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg who has lived and worked in the lands of her Omamiwinini Anishinabe ancestors as well as those of other neighboring and related Indigenous nations where her families have resided for generations.

Education

  • MA, Environment and Community/Food Systems Concentration, Antioch University, Seattle
  • MFA, Writing/Poetry, Goddard College
  • BA, English, SUNY Buffalo
  • AA, Liberal Arts, Niagara County Community College

Areas of Expertise

I don’t like the word expert to describe myself, but some things that interest me and which I have studied or written about include:

  • Indigenous legal traditions and systems
  • Environmental governance and policy
  • Land-based learning, defense, and protection
  • Embodiment and healing
  • Indigenous culture and language
  • Poetry & poetics
  • Political Ecology
  • Community-based research
  • Indigenous feminism and geographic methods
  • Material culture and expression
  • Water, oceanography, and hydrology
  • Ableism, medicine, and health
  • Phenomenology
  • Critical animal studies
  • Philosophy and philosophic thought

Personal Statement

Waywaynaboozhoo gakina, hello everyone. In my greeting, I share that I follow the teachings of Waywaynaboozhoo, the great uncle and teacher of Anishinabeg. I love who I am and where I come from, and I believe in the possibility and actualization of a strong and vibrant future. This is the primary accomplishment of my life as an Anishinabekwe, a woman from the Original Peoples of Turtle Island who has endured to pursue the fullness of myself with the support of my ancestors. In this time of the Seventh Fire, it is an endeavor to carry out my work with truth, honesty, kindness, humility, and care. These are but some of the laws that have sustained my people on these lands for thousands of years according to our kan-doss-e-win (how we come to know) and in-aw-koni-ge-win (how we conduct ourselves).

I came up through the ranks of academia navigating institutions and earning degrees which, in hindsight, look like timely portals of self-development.  Naming that I have degrees isn’t a flex, just noting that through several years, a lot of interesting and diverse experiences shaped my thinking along the way; some violent and traumatizing, with some powerful and necessary transformative moments as well.  It’s all relevant. A lot of acquired tools. My thought is that the academic institution is not and cannot be the placeholder or arbiter of knowledge, nor are its facilitators and workers sages or experts, rather—together, we all navigate a temporary passageway that may assist in developing knowledge and methods that ring true to our own sense of integrity and sovereignty. Practices that benefit the collective through honing one’s unique gifts and calling. I often ask myself, how does one contribute to sustaining and affirming life on this planet, for all who are here and all who may come? How to show love and support for all our relations?

My goals in supporting students are thus co-created. I might ask you things like, what do you want to do? How do you want to do it? I tend to ask a lot of questions. Those who work with me can expect to be supported in developing a conversation about studying literature, other forms of knowledge, expressive practice, cultural and social influences, and more. It is my desire to draw on my own strengths and experience to support the development that folks identify as most important to them during their time with Goddard. Overall I am not a huge fan of borders or binaries; for my families and ancestors, the borders of colonial occupation continue to disrupt the fluid and sustainable ways of being-with and cherishing all those we are related to: our inter-dimensional and multi-species kin. So I like to think about innovation and revising/reaffirming what it means to think and act in terms that are relational. Also, as a published poet and storyteller, and actively practicing researcher in the fields of human geography, qualitative research, environmental science, and other forms of land-based and place-based research, I love mixing methods and discourses. 

Publications

leora.gansworth@goddard.edu

Affiliation BFA Creative Writing
Individualized Bachelor of Arts
Undergraduate Studies Program

Location Plainfield, Vermont

Role Faculty