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.

University of Oregon

BRIAN KLOPOTEK (CHOCTAW) is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon, where he has just led a successful effort to establish a new minor in Native American Studies. He earned a PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2004. His first book, Recognition Odysseys: Indigeneity, Race, and Federal Tribal Recognition Policy in Three Louisiana Indian Communities, was published in 2011 by Duke University Press. Initially led to this topic by his own heritage as a nonfederal Choctaw with Louisiana roots, the book examines the ways Louisiana Indians have responded to and been affected by federal recognition policy, the politics of indigeneity, and racial thinking. Much of his work explores the ways indigenous status and racial status interacts with each other as separate but related vectors shaping Native American experiences. To that end, his current book project, Indian on Both Sides, compares constructions of race and indigeneity in the United States and Mexico, places where being indigenous means different things, and places where understandings of what it means to be Indian (and what it means to be Mexican) continue to evolve. He has just completed a co-edited volume with Brenda Child called Indian Subjects: Hemispheric Perspectives on the History of Indigenous Education, to be published in 2013 with SAR Press. The book contains original essays exploring educational histories throughout the Americas and the Pacific, moving toward more hemispheric and global conversations about the variety of indigenous experiences. He has published other essays in contributed volumes and the AICRJ on Indian masculinity on film, Indians and Hurricane Katrina, indigenous methodologies, and black-Indian relations. He teaches History of Indian Education, Introduction to Native American Studies, Native Americans and Environmentalism, Native American Ethnohistory, Native American-African American Relations, Race and War, Native Americans and Film, and the Ethnic Studies Proseminar. He is also developing a class on comparative indigeneity in the Americas for 2013-14.

Personal Statement:

I am honored to have been nominated to serve on the NAISA council. I am deeply grateful for the work that the NAISA leadership has accomplished to date, and impressed by the work that all of us as participants have done, as well. We have set a strong and inclusive intellectual agenda that I hope to continue. My stances on various issues can be gleaned fairly well by extrapolating from the kinds of intellectual and political commitments I address in my research. I want to support a NAISA that continues to be the place where we come together to talk and listen to each other's ideas about the pasts, presents, and futures of Indigenous peoples, and then carry those conversations out into the broader world. NAISA is our huddle, our testing ground, and our haven. I will work hard to keep it that way.