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.



The Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group (IPSG) of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) is sponsoring sessions at the 77th Association of Pacific Coast Geographers Annual Meeting. It will be held in Tucson, Arizona from September 24-27. In 2010, the IPSG published a Declaration of Key Questions About Research Ethics With Indigenous Communities stating

“Indigenous communities are highly capable of determining their own research needs, and as researchers who work with Indigenous communities, we see an important role for geographic tools, methods and theory for facilitating such research. However, we also believe that in doing so, the discipline of geography must overcome its distinctly colonial heritage, and its continuing relationship with power structures that define how knowledge is created and reproduced. This introspective process will require acknowledging how a historic sense of superiority and entitlement affects how geographic research is conducted.”

In order to facilitate collaborative research relationships and encourage meaningful Indigenous research scholarship, the IPSG will continue to sponsor sessions at regional geography meetings. While we are specifically looking to increase for graduate, undergraduate, tribal college and community college student participation and we welcome anyone doing research with/for/by Indigenous communities in the following areas

· Indigenous research and Indigenizing research regulations
· Indigenous science, climate change, sustainability, and resource management
· Geographies of hope: Honoring ancestral and innovative relationships to place
· Indigenous uses of geospatial technologies
· Representational politics: Indigenous sovereignty, identity, and self-determination
· Indigenous education and Indigenizing education
· Applied Indigenous community research

According to Chris Lukinbeal, the conference organizer, “This year’s meeting continues the tradition of scholarship, collegiality and friendship. Emmy award-winning media presenter on the world’s deserts, David Yetman, will be our Wednesday night keynote Speaker. Eleven exciting field trips are planned for Thursday to help you explore diverse aspects of the Tucson area. Thursday evening’s annual social event is a Mexican Fiesta and “night at the Museum” at the Arizona State Historical Society. Formal paper sessions will be held on Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th at the Marriott Hotel.”

If you want more information about the conference, please visit the home page at

If you are ready to submit an abstract for either a poster or paper presentation, you must first register to attend the annual meeting before you can submit an abstract. Please be sure to email me your abstract as well after you submit online so I can notify the conference coordinator that you are an IPSG sponsored presenter. I hope to have 2 IPSG sponsored sessions and a few speakers in other sessions to provide an Indigenous perspective to a specific session theme.

The APCG provides $200-300 travel scholarships for Indigenous students. The application deadline is Tuesday, September 2, 2014. Fees to attend the awards banquet will be waived for awardees of the travel scholarship. The application requires two steps:

1) A statement about the student’s interests in geography, commitment to attend the Tucson meeting, statement about the student’s Indigenous/Native background, and, if presenting a paper or poster, a description of the research topic; and
2) A supporting letter of reference from a faculty member. Check out the Grants and Scholarships page for more information,

Lastly, Ken Madsen has organized a reasonably priced pre-conference field trip for IPSG sponsored poster/paper presenters and panelists on Tuesday/Wednesday before the APCG conference officially begins (5pm Sept 24). There is a limit of 18 people that can participate in the pre-conference field trip and the cost will be about $60-85/person depending on final decisions. The DRAFT itinerary is as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 – IPSG arrival

IPSG members arrive
if arriving early, pass time until departure at Desert Diamond Casino (Nogales Hwy. location)

OPTION: personal or car-pooled transportation to Topawa for early arrivals

5p – van departs Tucson airport
5:15p – pickup at Desert Diamond Casino
6:30p – arrive at San Solano Mission, Topawa, light dinner, time to relax

ALTERNATIVE: Papago Café in Sells

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014 – IPSG Pre-Conference

Members of the Indigenous People’s Specialty Group will meet the day in advance of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers’ annual meeting in Tucson to learn about and share with the Tohono O’odham community as well as network with each other. Members are encouraged to also attend present at the conference itself.

7:30a – breakfast burritos at Mission
8a – pack up and load van
8:30a – depart Mission
9a – Research, Native Participation, and Native Oversight conversation in Sells with Cultural Preservation Committee, Tohono O’odham Legislative Council

ALTERNATIVE: invite them to TOCC later in the day instead and offer to do guest lectures/discussions at Baboquivari High School in Topawa

11a – arrive at TOCC Main Campus, down time for an hour
12n – welcome ceremony, followed by catered lunch / pot luck with students, faculty, and staff
(if anyone wants to bring traditional food to share, bring ingredients!)
1p – presentations about Tohono O’odham Community College presentations about Indigenous People’s Specialty Group mix in guest lectures to classes as schedules permit
3p – depart TOCC
4:15p – arrive at Tucson Marriot University Park (APCG conference hotel)

APCG events on Wednesday:

3:30-7:30p Registration (Marriott)
5:00-6:30p Welcome and Opening Session (Center for Creative Photography)
6:30-8:00p Reception and Cocktail Hour (Landscape Architecture Foyer)

Mahalo for your consideration of this event.


for the



Welcome Reception Hosted by the National Museum of the American Indian

JUNE 4-6, 2015

The NAISA Council invites scholars working in Native American and Indigenous Studies to submit proposals for:

Individual papers, panel sessions, roundtables, or film screenings.

All persons working in Native American and Indigenous Studies are invited and encouraged to apply. Proposals are welcome from faculty and students in colleges, universities, and tribal colleges; from community-based scholars and elders; and from professionals working in the field.

All those accepted to the Program must be a NAISA member and must register for the meeting.


PLEASE NOTE: The Program Committee limits submissions to one proposed session per person, in order to maximize representation at the meetings. Each person can only be part of one proposal of any kind. The Program Committee reserves the right to disqualify proposals that include individuals who are part of more than one proposal. Someone may however, be proposed to both Chair and present or Chair and comment within one session.  Also, someone may organize a panel in which s/he does not have an active role and would be able to present a paper or chair/comment at another time in the program.  The Program Committee may recruit panel chairs and commentators from people on successful proposals.

GO to for more information about NAISA.  More information about Washington DC 2015 will be available in the coming months.

Only complete proposals submitted through the online Abstract Collector before the deadline will receive consideration.

Detailed instructions for submitting proposals will be available on by

September 1, 2014.

DEADLINE for proposal submission: NOVEMBER 3, 2014

(Please note that this deadline is earlier than in past years.)

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Subject: Study Tour to the UK and US for Indigenous Australians

Are you an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander student or graduate interested in postgraduate study overseas?


Why not apply for the 2014 Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour to the UK and the US?

For those contemplating postgraduate study overseas, the Aurora Study Tour provides an invaluable opportunity to travel with a group of like-minded students, visit universities and meet with academics, administrators and current postgraduate students in your area of interest at Cambridge and Oxford universities in the UK, and Berkeley (TBC), Columbia, Harvard, NYU and Stanford (TBC) in the US.  The Tour is a great introduction to life as a postgraduate student at some of the world’s leading universities.

The Aurora Project is seeking applications from high achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduates in any field of study, who have completed at least two years of their course of study.  University graduates are also welcome to apply. 

The group of successful applicants (around 15 in total) will leave Australia in late October or early November and spend approximately 2½ weeks in the US visiting Berkeley (TBC), Stanford (TBC), Harvard, Columbia and NYU, and approximately 2 weeks at Cambridge and Oxford.  All costs associated with travel, accommodation and meals will be covered by Aurora and its supporters – last year each of the Australian universities where Scholars were studying were asked to contribute to the costs.  Applicants may elect to join the full Tour, or only the UK or US components (the schedule is currently being finalised).

Sixteen Indigenous students participated in November 2013.  Here are some reflections from last year’s Tour:

​ “Prior to Oxford and Cambridge, I was mostly convinced I would need to wait another year before applying. But following successful meetings at both these schools, it became more of a question of - why wait?”

Jessyca Hutchens, University of Western Australia – 2014 Charlie Perkins Scholar to Oxford

“Despite my academic success, and subsequent work in the field, I never could have imagined myself sitting in an office in New York City having a conversation with the UN’s leader in Indigenous Human Rights, or being at Harvard University sharing thoughts on racial identity with academic representatives from some of the Western worlds most ostracised Indigenous cultures.”

Nathan West, University of Newcastle – 2014 Roberta Sykes Scholar to Cambridge

“This trip has changed my outlook on my capabilities and what I can achieve. I had never expected to be selected for this trip and could not imagine what it would be like to be at universities such as these. … I think it’s safe to say that the Tour has opened many doors of opportunity for me.”

Chenaya Bancroft-Davis, Griffith University

“The Tour makes the prospect of studying at such universities real and achievable, and not elusive and simply a fanciful pipe dream. … This Tour certainly enabled me to imagine my prospects as being wider and more exciting than I had previously imagined.”

Garry Jones, Australian National University

You can read more about the students’ experiences of last year’s Tour in the attached reflections.

Applications are open now and close at 5pm AEST on Friday 11 July 2014.


To apply, complete the online application form available at

With the online application form you will need to attach the following documentation:

·         A cover letter (including a personal statement about your background, career aspirations and reasons for wanting to go on the Tour)

·         A curriculum vitae

·         An official transcript of university results (including mid-year results, if available)

·         A list identifying one academic contact (such as a Professor) and one administrative contact (such as a Course Coordinator) that you would like to meet at each academic institution you are interested in visiting (Berkeley - TBC, Stanford - TBC, Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Oxford and Cambridge)      

  • Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent through a signed written statement (including common seal) of an Aboriginal Heritage Association, Aboriginal Corporation or Land Council in the community where you live or have lived
  • A high-resolution photo (headshot preferably) that could be used in promotional material, should you be selected to go on the Tour

The successful applicants will be chosen primarily on the basis of academic achievement (Distinction average or higher) but also on the basis of their potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities.  Preference will be given to students in the final year of their undergraduate studies.  We are looking for applicants who have the potential to become Charlie Perkins and Roberta Sykes Scholars.


Any questions should be emailed toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and should include a contact telephone number.


To find out more about the Charlie Perkins Scholarships for postgraduate study at Oxford or Cambridge, go to

To find out more about the Roberta Sykes Scholarships for postgraduate study at any overseas academic institution, go to

Best regards

Richard Potok

The NAISA Council has determined that in the 2014 election for the positions of President-elect, two members of Council, and two members of the Nominations Committee, the website company that conducted the election made an error in reporting the outcome for one of the races. The Council initially reported the incorrect results, and we offer our sincere apologies for this error. After careful examination of the events and facts, the Council has determined that the error was limited to the reporting of results for a single race and did not affect the counting of any votes. The Council thanks all candidates for their generous willingness to serve NAISA, and we affirm that the following results are correct.

President-elect: Winona Wheeler

NAISA Council: Susan Hill and Jolan Hsieh

Nominations Committee: Nēpia Mahuika and Danika Medak-Saltzman

A complete and detailed explanation of these events will be presented at the 2014 Business Meeting in Austin and then posted on the website.

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Reserve childcare for the NAISA conference! On-site childcare for the NAISA annual meeting will be provided by KiddieCorp. KiddieCorp will provide age-appropriate toys and games, different arts and crafts projects for each day, and children's movies and cartoon videos. Written hourly infant/toddler reports will also be given to parents. The hourly rate per child is $12. Services will be available May 29th-31st from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM. Questions? Contact Lakota Pochedley (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or check out KiddieCorp's website (