Buorre beaivi! Greetings! I am Sámi (Mark Sámi) from the Norwegian side, and a registered member of the Norwegian Sámi electorate. Currently I am in my eighth year as Associate Professor of Norwegian and Scandinavian Studies at Pacific Lutheran University, on the traditional lands of the Nisqually and Steilacoom peoples and near the southern shores of the Salish Sea. I am also an affiliate of the Arctic Studies Program at the University of Washington, Seattle. Prior to being tenured I served as an assistant professor at PLU for four years, after having taught at a variety of universities and colleges in the United States and Norway. I earned my PhD in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin in 2001 with my dissertation Colonial Palimpsest: Tracing Inscriptions of Sápmi and the Sámi. Over time I have moved from a critical engagement with settler-colonial texts and discourses to working more directly with Sámi texts from a position grounded in Sámi aesthetics and intellectual traditions. Increasingly that work has drawn on a comparative trans-Indigenous critical perspective as well. I have also spent the past five years working closely with educators from the Muckleshoot, Puyallup and Nisqually tribes to develop a collaborative, interdisciplinary program in Native American and Indigenous Studies at PLU, a program that we hope to launch this fall.
It is a humbling honor to be nominated to serve on the NAISA Council, and I am eager to work for our organization as it continues to grow and develop Indigenous Studies as an academic field that serves both our individual Indigenous communities and the global network of Indigenous collaboration and cooperation. While I strongly believe that our field has a lot to offer the settler institutions that house us, I also believe that our primary responsibilities are to the Indigenous peoples of the world, and that we can contribute to our communities and peoples both by critiquing settler ideologies and systems, and by working to produce Indigenous knowledge and to Indigenize our portion of the academy. Belonging to NAISA, attending its conferences and reading NAIS has had a rejuvenating effect on my own work, and I have been blessed by contact with colleagues from around the world who have challenged me and helped me to grow as an Indigenous scholar. I look forward to the opportunity to give back to this vibrant, exceptional organization. Ollu giitu.