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.

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