I am a Colorado-born Canadian citizen of the Cherokee Nation. I work at the University of Toronto as associate professor of English (Aboriginal and Indigenous literatures) and Aboriginal Studies, and am the author of a number of critical essays in Indigenous literary studies, as well as a full-length monograph on Cherokee literature (Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History) and an Indigenous fantasy trilogy, The Way of Thorn and Thunder. My current work includes a cultural history of badgers, a study of other-than-human kinship in Indigenous literature, and another fantasy novel.
While not the only significant organization in Indigenous and American Indian Studies, NAISA is an important venue for scholarship, activism, professional development, and transnational dialogue between scholars and communities. Given its diversity of perspectives, participants, and fields, it is also an organization that faces unique challenges in meeting the expectations of its various constituencies. I have been involved with NAISA since the Steering Committee's first planning conference at the University of Oklahoma, and I continue to be committed to the expansive and inclusive intellectual vision expressed at that gathering. There is ample room for many voices and many views within NAISA; indeed, its transformative potential is best realized through the diversity of its membership. If elected, I can't promise to make choices that everyone will agree with, but I can promise to work hard as a member of this diverse community, to encourage respectful and constructive dialogue, and to approach all issues that come before Council as thoughtfully and generously as I can, to the very best of my ability.