As a long-time NAISA member, I would be very pleased to have the opportunity to serve an organization that has benefitted me so greatly. By way of introduction: I am a settler scholar of Indigenous literatures (Associate Professor in the Department of English & Film Studies and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies) at the University of Alberta, in Treaty 6 and Métis territory, where I research both Inuit literatures and the problem of reconciliation in Canada. My 2012 book Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature was strongly influenced by the scholarship—Indigenous literary nationalism, in particular—that I encountered at NAISA gatherings over the years. Since then, I have also edited (with Julie Rak and Norma Dunning) the 2015 re-release of Inuk elder Mini Aodla Freeman’s classic autobiography, Life Among the Qallunaat. I am now the lead facilitator for a collaborative project entitled “Creative Conciliations,” which explores Indigenous artistic interventions into the problem of reconciliation in Canada. With Dylan Robinson (Stó:lo), I have edited Arts of Engagement: Taking Aesthetic Action In and Beyond the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2016). In 2014, under the leadership of Daniel Heath Justice and Sam McKegney, I served as a founding member of the Indigenous Literary Studies Association in Canada. I am also the mother of a young son, Edzazii: this responsibility increasingly informs my work and research practice.
I am grateful to have been nominated for election to the Nominations Committee. Since 2008, NAISA has allowed me to learn from the leading Indigenous scholars in North America and around the world; the intellectual community that this has afforded me has been inestimable. I would be delighted, then, to have the opportunity to reciprocate by serving NAISA in this role. While I believe firmly in the importance of Indigenous leadership in this organization, I am also aware of the tremendous amount of administrative work that is required of Indigenous scholars, and I am always interested in assisting with this labour in ways that are appropriate.