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.


Members nominate articles and books for the Best First Book, Best Subsequent Book, and Most Thought-Provoking Article prizes each year. In the following year, members vote on the nominations through the NAISA website.

Members and faculty also may nominate student papers accepted to the Program of the annual meeting for consideration for the Student Paper Prize (students may self-nominate for this prize as well). A prize committee comprised of NAISA Council members and other NAISA (faculty) members choose the winner of this prize shortly before the annual meeting. 




Best first book: Mcarthy, Theresa. In Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River (University of Arizona Press) 

Best subsequent book: Chang, David. The World and All the Things Upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration (University of Minnesota Press) 

Most Thought-Provoking Article: Diaz, Vicente M., "In the Wake of Mata 'pang's Canoe: The Cultural and Political Possibilities of Indigenous Discursive Flourish" in Critical Indigenous Studies: Engagements from First World Locations (University of Arizona Press, 2016)

Best Student Paper Presented at the 2017 NAISA Conference: Kahikina de Silva, "Loea Mele: A Brief Study of 20th Century Kanaka Maoli Discussions of Mele"




Best first book: Sarah Deer, The Beginning and End of Rape (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) 

Best subsequent book: Aileen Moreton Robinson, The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) 

Most thought-provoking article: David A. Chang, “'We Will Be Comparable to the Indian Peoples': Recognizing Likeness between Native Hawaiians and American Indians, 1834–1923" American Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3, (September 2015), pp. 859-886. 


Best first book: Audra Simpson, Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across The Borders Of Settler States (Duke University Press) 

Best subsequent book: Chris Andersen, Métis: Race, Recognition, and the Struggle for Indigenous Peoplehood (University of British Columbia Press) 

Most thought provoking article: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, "Land as pedagogy: Nishnaabeg intelligence and rebellious transformation" (Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 2014). 


Prize for Best 1st Book (publ. 2013): KIM TALLBEAR, Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2013)

Prize for Best Subsequent Book (2013): THOMAS KING, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2013)

Prize for Most Thought Provoking Article (2013): K. TSIANINA LOMAWAIMA, "The Mutuality of Citizenship and Soverenty: The Society of American Indians and the Battle to Inherent America," published in a joint special issue of Studies in American Indian Literatures 25.2: 333-351 (Summer 2013)


Prize for Best 1st Book (publ. 2012): ALICE TE PUNGA SOMERVILLE, Once Were Pacific: Maori Connections to Oceania (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012)

Prize for Best Subsequent Book (2012): CHADWICK ALLEN, Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012)

Prize for Most Thought Provoking Article (2012): PATRICK WOLFE, "Against the Intentional Fallacy: Legocentrism and Continuity in the Rhetoric of Indian Dispossesion" published in American Indian Culture & Research Journal 36.1: 3-45 (2012)


Prize for Best 1st Book (publ. 2011): JODI BYRD, The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011)

Prize for Best Subsequent Book (2011): MARK RIFKIN, When Did Indians Become Straight? Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty (London: Oxford University Press, 2011)

Prize for Most Thought Provoking Article (2011): LISA BROOKS, “The Constitution of the White Earth Nation: A New Innovation in a Longstanding Indigenous Literary Tradition” published in Studies in American Indian Literatures 23.4: 48-76 (Winter 2011)


Prize for Best 1st Book (publ. 2010): MALINDA MAYNOR LOWERY, Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010)

Prize for Best Subsequent Book (2010): JEAN M. O'BRIEN, Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians out of Existence in New England (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) 

Prize for Most Thought Provoking Article (2010): DANIKA MEDAK-SALTZMAN, "Transnational Indigenous Exchange: Rethinking Global Interactions of Indigenous Peoples at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition," American Quarterly 62.3: 591-615 (2010)


David Maile, “He Moena Pāwehe Makana: Weaving Anti-Capitalist Resistance into Kanaka Maoli Critiques of Settler Colonialism” 
Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, “Relationship with Land as Method and Theory in Indigenous Women’s Research” Mary “Tuti” Baker, "Cultivating Aloha ʻĀina: A Case Study in Indigenous/Anarchist Practice”

For paper presented at the 2014 annual meeting:

JENNA HUNNEF, "A Doubtful Outlaw in the Old I.T.: The Indigenous Repoliticization of Ned Christie in Rober J. Conley's Ned Chritie's War"

JESSICA KOLOPENUK, "Becoming Native American: Facializing Indigeneity in Canada through Genetic Signification and Subjection" 

For paper presented at the 2012 annual meeting:

ANDREW EPSTEIN, "Decolonizing the Empire State: The Everett Report & Haudenosaunee Sovereignty in Early 20th Century New York"