It is such a great honor to be considered as a candidate for NAISA secretary. Over the past 5 years, I have benefited from the hard work of the council, executive board, and the organization’s members, and I would relish the opportunity to reciprocate. NAISA has been a sustaining intellectual home and it’s been a pleasure to watch its astounding growth into a global meeting place, a vast network of scholars, artists, activists, and community members working across geographic regions and disciplinary boundaries, and a forum for exchange, debate, collaboration, mentorship, and more. In 2015, I co-chaired of the local host committee for the NAISA annual meeting in Washington D.C.; we welcomed nearly 1000 attendees for three days of meetings, sessions, and special events. I gained critical experience in this position over the course of 18 months—managing a committee of organizers, keeping and balancing a large budget, reporting at in-person and Skype council meetings, and serving as a liaison between the organizers and NAISA executive officers—that has prepared me well to carry out the responsibilities of the secretary. If elected, I will endeavor to serve with the same generosity and good will as those who have served before me. Specifically, I will work hard to facilitate council meetings, communicate effectively with NAISA members, and draw from my conference organizing experiences to help future host committees plan and hold intellectually vibrant and exciting annual meetings in the coming years.
As an historian working in Native American and Indigenous studies, my scholarly work has focused on reinterpreting standard narratives of U.S. settler colonialism. I’ve sought to illuminate moments, often obscured in mainstream historical accounts, when viable alternatives to federal dispossession and assimilation policies arose in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My first book, Crooked Paths to Allotment, illustrated how Native leaders and allies, working within structures of the federal government, established a tradition of dissent against disruptive colonial governance. I also co-edited a collection of essays entitled Beyond Two Worlds that brought together scholars and activists to interrogate the binary “two worlds” trope that has shaped both historical writing and popular culture about Native communities and individuals. More recently, my work and engagement has been centered on Washington D.C. I am writing a book that examines the visual, symbolic, and lived Indigenous landscapes of the capital, focusing especially on the ways that Native visitors and residents claimed and reclaimed spaces in the city. For the initial stages of research on this project, I served as a fellow at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and as a Smithsonian Institution Fellow at the National Museum of the American Indian.