Naisa

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.

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Håfa adai “greetings.” I am a Chamorro historian whose research focuses on the Pacific Islands. I have a particular interest in Guam and Micronesia and the intersections of U.S. colonialism, militarism, and gender. Within this historical nexus and geographic focus, my work examines the emergence of indigenous feminisms. I am especially interested in how indigenous women’s histories can inform critiques of colonialism and contribute to a global comparative indigenous critique in conversation with critical theory and what critical scholarship can offer on-the-ground activism and decolonization in my home region. I am currently completing a book manuscript that examines the historical and cultural relations between Chamorro women and white American Navy wives in Guam during the first half of the 20th century. I am also a curator and museum studies scholar involved in numerous museum and public history projects. Highlights of these include an exhibit I curated, “I Kelat/The Fence,” to be featured at the 2016 Festival of the Pacific Arts in Guam this summer and a three-month stint at Chicago’s Field Museum, for which I helped re/conceptualize the proper display, use, and care of a 19th century New Zealand Māori whare nui (“meeting house”) and ancestor, Ruatepupuke II, as part of Chicago’s marae (“gathering place”), which entailed exploring collaborations between native communities in Chicago, the Museum, and Māori (Ngāti Porou) descendants.

I am honored and excited about the opportunity to serve on the NAISA Council. NAISA has been an important forum and network, which I have benefitted from for many years now and which I have enjoyed tremendously. As a native woman and native speaker born and raised (and still rooted) in the Pacific, from a region (Micronesia) that remains marginalized within the broader field of Pacific Studies, I believe I can bring a fresh perspective. As a Pacific Islander who calls Turtle Island also home (for the last fifteen years) and whose intellectual home has been in American Indian Studies—at the University of Illinois and now at the University of Minnesota—I am well-positioned to help advance critical and comparative indigenous studies in the Pacific. Sen dångkolu na si yu’us ma’åse “thank you very much” for your time and for your consideration.