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N. Scott Momaday at SAR. Undated but probably mid-1990s.

N. Scott Momaday at SAR. Undated but probably mid-1990s.

Blog by Michael F. Brown, President, SAR

Navarre Scott Momaday, the nation’s most celebrated Native American writer, died at his home in Santa Fe on January 24. He was 89.

Momaday, a member of the Kiowa Tribe, is remembered at SAR for his long service to this institution: as a Katrin Lamon Resident Scholar, senior scholar, and member of SAR’s board of directors (1997-2005). In February 2023, SAR awarded him our first-ever Centennial Medal in recognition of his contributions to SAR, to Native Americans, and to the world.

As memorial tributes to Scott Momaday pour in, we will add the best of them to this post. He was a recipient of so many awards that it is difficult to say anything about his accomplishments that hasn’t been said before. Suffice it to say that the members, staff, and directors of SAR mourn his passing and remember with affection and respect his gifts as a writer, poet, and painter as well as his generosity of spirit and unforgettable voice, both in person and on the page.

We at SAR offer our condolences to his family and to the thousands of readers inspired by his books.

Obituaries (some may be behind paywalls):

Washington Post
New York Times
The Independent (UK)
The Santa Fe New Mexican
Editorial, Santa Fe New Mexican, 1/31/2024
Joy Harjo, “Remembering the Man Made of Words,” Washington Post , 2/5/2024