Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

The premiere international & interdisciplinary professional organization for scholars, graduate students, independent researchers, and community members interested in all aspects of Indigenous Studies.

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The elections are now closed. The Nominations Committee appreciates the participation of all members throughout the nominations and election process as well as those who agreed to stand for election. Your participation is a vital aspect of NAISA’s continued success as an organization.

The election results are as follows:

President Elect:
Aroha Harris
Caskey Russell
Troy Storfjell
Nominations Committee:
Jenny Davis
Jennifer Gomez Menjivar

Nominations Committee
Danika Medak-Saltzman and Julie Reed, co-chairs
Nepia Mahuika
Niigaan Sinclair
Veronica Tawhai
Adam Gaudry

Annual Meeting


Los Angeles, California | May 17-19, 2018

The NAISA Council invites scholars working in Native American and Indigenous Studies to submit proposals for individual papers, panel sessions, roundtables, or film screenings. 

Click here:  for more information.

NAIS Journal

2017 NAISA Editor Search


Dr. Jean O’Brien and Dr. Robert Warrior will complete their term as Founding Editors of NAIS: Native American and Indigenous Studies at the end of the 2019 NAISA annual meeting. The NAISA Council has initiated the search for their successor(s), whose appointment will be a four-year term beginning June 1, 2019. To assure a smooth transition, the new editor(s) will be named in mid-2018.


Position Description


The Editor or Editors of NAIS give leadership to the organization and production of NAISA’s scholarly journal. The awarding-winning NAIS is published bi-annually through an agreement between NAISA and the University of Minnesota Press. Individuals or groups of two or more are welcome to apply for the editorship.




Please submit a letter that addresses your qualifications and offers a sense of your vision for NAIS, as well as your CV. All applications are due by January 1, 2018. The council will conduct interviews at the 2018 annual meeting. Candidates for the position of Editor should be prepared to attend and participate in interviews at the annual meeting. We strongly encourage candidates to discuss their intentions with their academic administrators (deans, department chairs, etc.) so that they can come to the interview prepared to articulate the institutional support they will receive if appointed to the editorship (for example, course releases, graduate and/or other student or staff support, any additional financial contribution). The new Editor will be expected to be in regular contact with the current Editors during 2018-2019 to ensure an orderly transition, taking over full responsibility on June 1, 2019


 NAISA Council Statement to Wells Fargo

April 28, 2017

Wells Fargo

420 Montgomery Street

San Francisco, CA 94104

Dear Mr. Sloan

As Council members of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), the premiere international and professional organization of Indigenous studies, whose membership consists of more than 1,000 scholars, students, independent researchers, and community workers, we write to you concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Wells Fargo's investment in the pipeline. NAISA Council stands in solidarity with the Oceti Sakowin Oyate (the Great Sioux Nation), the Standing Rock Sioux, and the Water Protectors in their opposition to the DAPL, and has issued a statement in support of this struggle against the pipeline, which can be accessed from our website ( DAPL crosses un-ceded Sioux lands and violates treaty rights and continues to desecrate sacred burial and cultural sites. A spillfrom the pipeline, which crosses four states, would contaminate the drinking water of not only those at Standing Rock but millions of Americans, placing their lives in danger.

Since its inception in 2008, NAISA has had its financial accounts with Wells Fargo and has valued this relationship. As elected Council members, we have fiduciary and ethical duties to our members who in turn have responsibilities to not simply their intellectual fields and academic homes but to indigenous communities. ln our capacity as NAISA Council, but also as clients of Wells Fargo-a company that claims it is committed to environmental sustainability and human rights" and ‘respects Tribal governments and communities, ‘we implore you to exercise social responsibility to those who lives will be placed in danger and divest from the DAPL. As representatives of our membership, we are obligated to consider both the security and performance of NAISA assets and philosophical congruence when deciding on financial institutions. The current situation with DAPL is leading to a reconsideration of our current relationship with you as our financial institution.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

Greetings, and welcome to the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association!

NAISA began through exploratory meetings hosted by the University of Oklahoma in 2007 and by the University of Georgia in 2008, incorporated in 2009, and has since become the premiere international and interdisciplinary professional organization for scholars, graduate students, independent researchers, and community members interested in all aspects of Indigenous Studies.

Our annual meetings have grown exponentially: from 350 people at the first gathering in 2007 to now averaging 800-900 attendees.

If you are having problems logging in, please click here for instructions to get access to your account.


 NAISA Council Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (“NAISA”) expresses its solidarity with the Oceti Sakowin Oyate (Great Sioux Nation), the Standing Rock Sioux, the numerous other Native tribal nations and individuals who have expressed their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (“DAPL”), and with the brave and stalwart individuals who have put their bodies in the path of bulldozers to halt its construction.

Executive Order 13175, issued by President Clinton on November 6, 2000, requires executive departments and agencies to engage in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal national governments when federal policies and actions have implications for tribal nations. President Obama reaffirmed this policy in his Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation of November 5, 2009. In it, he wrote, “History has shown that failure to include the voices of tribal officials in formulating policy affecting their communities has all too often led to undesirable and, at times, devastating and tragic results.” He went on to commit his administration to “complete and consistent implementation” of President Clinton’s executive order. Further, Article 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says that “states shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.”

In a clear violation of the above stated obligations, the Army Corps of Engineers failed to engage in meaningful consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux prior to authorizing DAPL. As a result, sites sacred to the Sioux have already been destroyed. DAPL was originally planned to cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck, North Dakota. Objections by the state and the city about the threat to the municipal water source led to a relocation to the crossing at Oahe Lake adjacent to the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Reservations. We cannot imagine a clearer example of environmental racism. Yet a rupture of DAPL under or near the Missouri River would not only contaminate the source of the tribes’ water source. It would create an environmental disaster of disastrous proportions to the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico.

We are heartened that President Obama’s administration has brought a halt to further construction, but that cessation is only temporary. DAPL must be halted permanently to fulfill the federal government’s trust obligation to tribal nations.

The NAISA Council urges all of its members to consider supporting the justified opposition to DAPL and to provide any aid and support that they are able to.

NAISA Council

September 11, 2016


 NAISA Council Statement on Indigenous Identity Fraud

Issues of Indigenous identity are complex. Hundreds of years of ongoing colonialism around the world have contributed to this complexity. However, such complexity does not mean that there are no ethical considerations in claiming Indigenous identity or relationships with particular Indigenous peoples. To falsely claim such belonging is Indigenous identity fraud.

As scholars of Native American and Indigenous Studies, we are expected to undertake our work with a commitment to the communities with whom we work, about whom we write, and among whom we conduct research -- we are expected to uphold the highest ethical standards of our profession. Further, as scholars it is incumbent upon us to be honest about both our ancestries and our involvement with, and ties to, Indigenous communities. This is true whether we are Indigenous or non-Indigenous. In no way are we implying that one must be Indigenous in order to undertake Native American and Indigenous Studies. We are simply stating that we must be honest about our identity claims, whatever our particular positionalities. Belonging does not arise simply from individual feelings – it is not simply who you claim to be, but also who claims you. When someone articulates connections to a particular people, the measure of truth cannot simply be a person’s belief but must come from relationships with Indigenous people, recognizing that there may be disagreements among Indigenous people over the legitimacy of a particular person’s or group’s claims. According to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues statement on Indigenous identity, the test is “Self-identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member.”1

Being dishonest about one’s identity and one’s connections to Indigenous communities damages the integrity of the discipline and field of Native American and Indigenous Studies and is harmful to Indigenous peoples. If we believe in Indigenous self-determination as a value and goal, then questions of identity and integrity in its expression cannot be treated as merely a distraction from supposedly more important issues. Falsifying one’s identity or relationship to particular Indigenous peoples is an act of appropriation continuous with other forms of colonial violence.The harmful effects of cultural and identity appropriation have been clearly articulated by Native American and Indigenous Studies scholars over the past four decades, and it is our responsibilityto be aware of these critiques.

The issue is not one of enrollment, or blood quantum, or recognition by the state, or meeting any particular set of criteria for defining “proper” or “authentic” Indigenous identity. The issue is honesty and integrity in engaging the complexities, difficulties, and messiness of our histories (individual and collective), our relations to each other, and our connections to the people and peoples who serve as the subjects of our scholarship.

For these reasons, the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association expresses its conviction that we are all responsible to act in an ethical fashion by standing against Indigenous identity fraud.


Approved by NAISA Council, 15 September 2015

1United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, “Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Voices Fact Sheet, ‘Who are indigenous peoples?’” Posted 09/05/2006, accessed 12/08/2015


NAISA Council Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

The council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) declares its support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

A broad coalition of Palestinian non-governmental organizations, acting in concert to represent the Palestinian people, formed the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Their call was taken up in the United States by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. A NAISA member-initiated petition brought this issue to NAISA Council. After extensive deliberation on the merits of the petition, the NAISA Council decided by unanimous vote to encourage members of NAISA and all who support its mission to honor the boycott.

NAISA is dedicated to free academic inquiry about, with, and by Indigenous communities. The NAISA Council protests the infringement of the academic freedom of Indigenous Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the Occupied Territories and Israel who are denied fundamental freedoms of movement, expression, and assembly, which we uphold.

As the elected council of an international community of Indigenous and allied non-Indigenous scholars, students, and public intellectuals who have studied and resisted the colonization and domination of Indigenous lands via settler state structures throughout the world, we strongly protest the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the legal structures of the Israeli state that systematically discriminate against Palestinians and other Indigenous peoples.

NAISA is committed to the robust intellectual and ethical engagement of difficult and often highly charged issues of land, identity, and belonging. Our members will have varying opinions on the issue of the boycott, and we encourage generous dialogue that affirms respectful disagreement as a vital scholarly principle. We reject shaming or personal attacks as counter to humane understanding and the greater goals of justice, peace, and decolonization.  

As scholars dedicated to the rights of Indigenous peoples, we affirm that our efforts are directed specifically at the Israeli state, not at Israeli individuals. The NAISA Council encourages NAISA members to boycott Israeli academic institutions because they are imbricated with the Israeli state and we wish to place pressure on that state to change its policies. We champion and defend intellectual and academic freedom, and we recognize that conversation and collaboration with individuals and organizations in Israel/Palestine can make an important contribution to the cause of justice. In recognition of the profound social and political obstacles facing Palestinians in such dialogues, however, we urge our members and supporters to engage in such actions outside the aegis of Israeli educational institutions, honoring this boycott until such time as the rights of the Palestinian people are respected and discriminatory policies are ended.

Approved by NAISA Council, 13 December 2013