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.

Biographical Statement

Muskogee/Creek Nation of Eastern Oklahoma (not enrolled).

1987 Ph.D., Anthropology, Stanford University.

1988-1994 Assist. Professor, Anthropology Dept./American Indian Studies Center, University of Washington, Seattle.

1994-2011 Assoc. Prof. & Prof., American Indian Studies Program, University of Arizona (Head 2005-2009).

My research on the experiences of American Indian alumni of boarding schools is rooted in the experiences of my father, Curtis Thorpe Carr, who was raised from age 8 at Chilocco Indian Agricultural School, Oklahoma.  Interviews with my father and sixty of his contemporaries, plus information from federal policy and archives, appear in They Called it Prairie Light.  In the course of my career, I have tried to develop into an interdisciplinary scholar straddling Native Studies, anthropology, education, ethnohistory, and history.  I focus on the early 20th century, examining the "footprint" of federal Indian policy and practice in Indian country (especially through institutions such as schools), and the creative, persistent ways Native peoples have asserted sovereignty, protected language and culture, and resisted and co-opted federal agendas.

Co-editor, with Colin Calloway, of the University of Oklahoma Press Series on Native


Co-editor, with Florencia Mallon, Alcida Ramos & Joanne Rappaport, of the Duke

University Press Narrating Native Histories Series.

2010 Lifetime Achievement Award in American Indian History, from the Indian

Historians of the Western History Association.

2006 "To Remain an Indian": Lessons for Democracy from a Century of Native

American Education. Co-author, with Teresa L. McCarty. NY: Teachers College Press. 2007 Outstanding Book award, American Educational Research Association.

2005 President, American Society for Ethnohistory.

2003 Extraordinary Faculty Award, University of Arizona Alumni Association.

2001 Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law. Co-author, with

David E. Wilkins.  Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

2000 Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences.  Co-author and

co-editor, with Margaret Archuleta and Brenda Child.  Phoenix AZ: Heard Museum.

1994 They Called it Prairie Light: The Story of Chilocco Indian School. Lincoln:

University of Nebraska Press.

1991 University Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Washington.

Election Statement

I have had the extraordinary privilege to work with five cherished friends and colleagues, led by Robert Warrior, on the NAISA founding steering committee.  As such, I served on the Program Committee for the first four NAISA meetings (2007 in Oklahoma, 2008 in Georgia, 2009 in Minneapolis, and 2010 in Tucson); I helped file NAISA’s incorporation papers and submit the application for IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status; and served as local host for the 2010 May meeting in Tucson.  I am committed to continuing the fine work of the organization's first three Presidents to build NAISA’s financial stability, build membership internationally, and found a journal.  I am particularly interested in the future in working with the Council and members to successfully base a meeting outside continental North America (U.S./Canada).