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.


Ethics of Belonging: Protocols, Pedagogies, Land and Stories: ILSA’s Annual Conference

this year held at the Stó:lō Nation Teaching Longhouse 7201 Vedder Road, Chilliwack on the Unceded, traditional territories of the Stó:lō peoples

We invite scholars, knowledge-keepers, artists, and community members to join us in generating new conversations about protocols, pedagogies, land, and stories from a wide variety of perspectives, including tribally-centred, inter-tribal, pan-national, urban/suburban, and trans-Indigenous, at ILSA’s third annual gathering, this time taking place on the unceded, traditional territories of the Stó:lō peoples in the Stó:lō Teaching Longhouse in Chilliwack, B.C. In a 2007 essay Stó:lō historian Dr. Albert Sonny Naxaxalhts’i McHalsie shares a Halq’emélem statement that is often interpreted as an assertion of Aboriginal rights and title: “S’ólh Téméxw te ikw’elo. Xolhmet te mekw’stam it kwelat,” which can be translated as “This is our Land. We have to take care of everything that belongs to us” (85). As McHalsie reflects on the boundaries of his territory, he follows the protocols of his community, consulting his elders to uncover teachings embedded in the Halq’emélem language and in Stó:lō stories. Through these protocols he replaces Western concepts of ownership with Stó:lō understandings of personal connection to place, sharing stories that explicate multiple ways of reading the land around him. McHalsie concludes that the statement is not merely an assertion of what belongs to Stó:lō but of belonging, insisting that as his people take care of their territory they necessarily have to take care of stories and understandings of the world embedded within wider kinship relations—between communities, nations, cultures, languages, as well as with the other-than-human.

Inspired by McHalsie’s words, Ethics of Belonging: Protocols, Pedagogies, Land and Stories asks participants to consider ways in which our scholarship, activism, and creative work cares for stories and centres Indigenous perspectives. In what ways can this care and attention honour Indigenous protocols and shape our pedagogies? How might writers or artists who live distanced or alienated from home territories practice such ethics? How might we consider Indigenous cultural production in cyberspace as linked to land? What does it mean to read texts through treaty documents, the history of colonization, or stories that emerge from land-theft and dislocation? What new traditions are Indigenous people, especially those who live in the city, creating?

The Indigenous Literary Studies Association supports diverse modes of creating and disseminating knowledge. Prospective participants are invited to propose conference papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, performances, and other formats for special sessions. Panel sessions will be 90 minutes in duration, with at least 15 minutes for questions and discussion. In keeping with our desire to enable dialogue and community- based learning, we welcome session proposals that utilize non-standard or alternative formats. While open to all proposals dealing with Indigenous literary arts, ILSA encourages proposals for sessions and individual presentations that engage with the following topics:

• “Taking care of everything that belongs to us,” land claims and cultural repatriation
• Stó:lō narrative arts and Stó:lō literary history, present, and future
• Politics of belonging and kinship relations
• Land, ecological responsibility, and environmental ethics
• Land-based solidarities, urban Indigenous communities, and the literary arts
• Literary methods and Indigenous protocols
• The politics of protocols—gender and surveillance
• Two-Spirit and queer Indigenous critical ecologies
• Land, stories, and narrative arts as praxis
• Autonomy and alliance in unceded traditional territories
• Community-based participatory research, pedagogies, and literary studies
• Alliances among Indigenous and diasporic artists
• Mediations of orality and Indigenous material cultures
• Collaborative creation and multi-media
• Artistic expressions of sovereignty and self-determination
• Responsibility, community, and artistic expression
• Community-specific Indigenous knowledge and ethics in scholarship or art
• methodologies and practices in Indigenous literary studies to serve the needs of Indigenous communities

The Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA) was founded in 2014 to promote the scholarship and teaching of Indigenous writing and storytelling in Canada. One way to make our study of Indigenous literatures relevant to the writers who produce the stories we read, teach and study is to meet every other year at national conferences as part of Congress, and meet alternating years in Indigenous communities. In 2015 we met at Six Nations of the Grand River, near Hamilton, Ontario, and in 2016 we met at Congress, hosted that year at the University of Calgary. From June 18-20, 2017 we will be meeting on the unceded, traditional territories of the Stó:lō peoples, in Chilliwack, B.C., about a half hour drive from the Abbotsford airport and about a one and a half hour drive from downtown Vancouver. This time was chosen to coincide with the annual conference of NAISA, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association meeting, at UBC from June 22-24, 2017.

Proposals are due on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 and this year’s proposals can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you do not receive an acknowledgment of your proposal within 7 days, please contact the ILSA council members directly, especially in-coming ILSA President Deanna Reder or ILSA Secretary Sophie McCall. We remind you that prospective participants must be members in order to present at ILSA 2017 in Chilliwack.

Membership Rates are $40 (faculty) or $20 (students, community members, or underwaged) for one year. Please visit our website at
ILSA 2017 Call for Papers to complete your membership.

Thank you for your continued support. Please note that for the 2016-2017 year, we will be using this email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; we encourage our members to contact the ILSA Council directly should you have any concerns or ideas you wish to share.
The Indigenous Literary Studies Association Council 2016-2017
Deanna Reder, President (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Jesse Archibald-Barber, President Elect (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Sophie McCall, Secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
June Scudeler, Treasurer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Sarah Henzi, Early Career Member (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Angela Semple, Graduate Member (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Sam McKegney, Past President (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Read More Comment (32) Hits: 3360

Call for Book Chapters

Edited Volume: Indigenous Interfaces: Spaces, Social Networks & Indigenous Identities in Latin America

Globalization has accelerated the transformation of everything, including culture, as a resource (Yúdice 2003). This situation calls for a complex negotiation of cultural reproduction and identity and, in the case of Latin American indigenous communities, these dynamics are set into motion in a transnational arena. Indigenous Interfaces addresses the many ways that indigenous communities have tapped into global markets through new technologies, especially social media, and have established transnational connections. It further considers how these communities have used multiple resources, including funding from international organizations and international volunteers, to create a niche in cyberspace. The volume will highlight the ways that indigenous peoples have put globalization at their behest, ultimately promoting the visibility of indigenous peoples, the economic viability of their communities and the continuity of our/their traditions. The volume will break new ground in the field of Indigenous cultural studies by bringing identity and technology into dialogue in the context of globalization. Contributions to the volume will examine the many manifestations of these concepts and will cover ground on many issues, including:

- indigenous media/communications theory

- grassroots movements

- cultural sustainability

- entrepreneurship

- cultural & eco-tourism

- youth cultures

- gender & sexuality

- oral histories and literary traditions

- experimental film

- fiber arts & visual arts

- languages in contact and language shift

- indigenous media industry & markets

- indigenous performance on virtual platforms

- leisure & social class

- agro-export & service economies

- indigenous intellectual networks

- indigeneity in video gaming

- GIS, drones and surveillance

SUBMISSIONS: Please email your proposal (Title, 200-300-word abstract in English or Spanish), and author's CV as electronic attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Dec. 15, 2016. You will receive a confirmation of receipt within one week of submission. Your first draft (5000 to 6000 words, including footnotes and bibliographical references) will be due on March 1, 2016 and will then undergo blind review. If accepted, you will then be asked to provide a final draft by July 1, 2017.
Read More Comment (49) Hits: 6816

Call for Applicants to Indigenous Writer-in-Residence Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research
The School for Advanced Research (SAR), with the generous support of Lannan Foundation, will begin seeking applicants for the Indigenous Writer-in-Residence fellowship on November 15, 2016. The purpose of this fellowship is to advance the work of an indigenous writer pursuing their creative project while enabling them to interact with local scholarly, artist, and Native communities. The fellowship runs from mid-June to early August and is open to writers indigenous to the United States or Canada. The fellow is provided with a $6,000 stipend, on-campus housing, studio space, supplies allowance, library support, and travel reimbursement to and from SAR.
The deadline to apply is Monday, January 9. For more information and to access our online application system, please visit and click on the Programs link or call Maria Spray at 505-954-7237.
Read More Comment (36) Hits: 3279

Water rights in the context of standing rock and the current situation on the Navajo Nation.
Read More Comment (70) Hits: 6673

Close to one billion people (15% of the global population) live with some form of disability. Aging, chronic health issues and mental health disorders are major factors contributing to disability around the globe. Yes, these individuals are disproportionately disadvantaged globally in economic and employment opportunities. Thus, it is now critical to address these far-reaching global disability issues proactively together.

The 2017 SUDI Conference will address a number of issues related to the nexus between disability, economic development and sustainability; ranging from social entrepreneurship, enabling environments, education, technology and innovations, to the design of policies and strategies aimed at increasing the economic inclusion and quality of life of people with disabilities. The conference will bring together policy-makers, academics, business representatives, and NGOs/DPOs serving individuals with disabilities to discuss and elaborate on proposals to more effectively channel policies and strategies to address the economic and employment and quality of life needs of people with disabilities in indigenous communities.

The 2017 SUDI Conference main theme will address inclusive and equitable economic development and employment strategies for disadvantaged indigenous populations. Indigenous peoples with disabilities tend to experience a number of barriers to achieve higher levels of quality of life and income. SUDI strongly believes that there is a tremendous opportunity for stakeholders to build an inclusive, equitable, society and economy that can lift disabled peoples out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency. As stated by Professor Stephen W. Hawking: “Disability need not to be an obstacle to success.”
For additional information visit
Read More Comment (20) Hits: 2010