Jill Doerfler is currently an Associate Professor and Department Head of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She holds a PHD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. Jill’s primary area of scholarly interest is American Indian identity with a focus on Anishinaabe citizenship. As a first-degree descendant growing up on the White Earth reservation, she was all too familiar with the divisions that the use of blood quantum as the sole requirement for tribal citizenship caused. She was involved in constitutional reform efforts with the White Earth Nation from 2007-2015. She wrote more than forty articles for the Anishinaabeg Today on topics related to her research and the reform effort, and served as a member of the Constitution Writing Team. In addition, she developed constitutional educational materials, co-facilitated more than fifty community education forms, and assisted in the creation a special issue of the Anishinaabeg Today devoted to the constitution. Jill has long been committed to interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches in both research and pedagogy. Her research is premised on a commitment to this approach, intersecting the fields of Indigenous governance, history, and literature. This research has reaffirmed her belief that scholarship can respond to and grow out of the precise needs of Native peoples, communities, and nations. Her publications grow out of this community-based research. In 2012, she coauthored The White Earth Nation: Ratification of a Native Democratic Constitution with Gerald Vizenor and, in 2013, she co-edited Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories with Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark. In Those Who Belong: Identity, Family, Blood, and Citizenship among the White Earth Anishinaabeg (2015) she examines staunch Anishinaabe resistance to racialization and the complex issues surrounding tribal citizenship and identity. She is currently engaged a community education and empowerment project, Zaagibagaang. As a part of the project she assisted with the development and creation of more than ten short videos as well as a website: zaagibagaang.com.
Candidate Statement: I am honored to be nominated and to stand for election to NAISA Council. I have participated in NAISA from the first meeting in Oklahoma. The connections forged at these meetings have been vital to my scholarly journey. NAISA is an important community which creates space for critical conversations and interdisciplinary engagement, which strengthens our work and propels our field(s) further. I have found the interdisciplinary nature of the meetings to be critical and will actively work to further include those areas that have been under represented. I believe that my community-engaged research experience and my organizing work will be assets. At the University of Minnesota-Duluth, I have served on a wide array of committees. I have served as Department Head of American Indian Studies since 2014 and chair of the College of Liberal Arts Department Heads, Directors, and Administrators group since 2016. In addition, I currently serve on the board of the Institute for Advanced Study. I will work to ensure that NAISA continues to grow and thrive as an organization that supports the innovative and important work that both serves Native nations as well as the academy.
Sheryl Lightfoot (Keweenaw Bay Anishinaabe) is Canada Research Chair in Global Indigenous Rights and Politics and associate professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She is currently serving as Acting Chair of the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and Acting Co-Director of the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies at UBC. Her first book, Global Indigenous Politics: A Subtle Revolution, was published in 2016 by Routledge Press in their critical international relations series. She is currently working on two projects, The Politics of Indigenous Apologies, a comparative qualitative study of state apologies to Indigenous peoples in Canada, the US, Norway and New Zealand, and Complex Sovereignties, a multi-national study of Indigenous self-determination practices in settler states and the international system. Sheryl is a regular and active participant in the United Nations Indigenous Human Rights Coalition and served as the North American Expert in a United Nations Expert Group Meeting on UNDRIP implementation in 2017. Sheryl has been a member of NAISA since its inception.
Candidate Statement: It is truly an honour to be nominated for NAISA Council. Having been a regular NAISA member and participant since the Steering Committee’s very first conference at the University of Oklahoma in 2007, I have had the extraordinary privilege of witnessing this organization come into existence and then grow into such a prominent and impressive professional organization. I believe that NAISA’s excellence rests on a number of key strengths that have shaped its success: a commitment to Indigenous communities and perspectives, a dedication to diverse voices and constructive dialogue, broad interdisciplinarity, a desire for inclusiveness including those at all levels of the academic career ladder, and a commitment to a vision of Indigenous Studies that is simultaneously local and global. I believe that our future challenges as an organization can be met through a dedication to these key strengths as our guiding aspirations. As a US-born, Canadian-based, global Indigenous studies scholar, I bring a diverse perspective at a key time in NAISA’s development as it prepares for its first overseas meeting in Waikato in 2019.
Beth Piatote (Nez Perce enrolled at Colville) is associate professor of Native American Studies and affiliated faculty in the department of linguistics and the American Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include Native American/Aboriginal literature and law, history, and culture; Nez Perce language and literature; and creative writing. Originally from Idaho, she earned her PhD in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University. She is author of Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature (Yale 2013), and co-editor (with Chadwick Allen) of The Society of American Indians and Its Legacies, a joint special issue of SAIL and AIQ (2013), as well as numerous essays and short stories in journals and anthologies. Her current monograph focuses on indigenous law and its animation through language, literature, and the senses.
Candidate Statement: I am honored to stand for election to the NAISA council. In this role, I would fulfill my responsibilities with respect and care, and I would promote, to the extent possible and appropriate, the role of scholars in supporting urgent projects such as indigenous language revitalization, which is of particular significance to me. I am committed to producing historically grounded, accessible interdisciplinary scholarship and mentoring/supporting others. My hope for NAISA is that it can be a welcoming organization that supports research in nascent and developed phases, and that NAISA would embody the values of generosity and responsibility toward others that are hallmarks of indigenous societies.
Leonie is a mother of six and a grandmother of four. She is currently the Director of Te Matapunenga o Te Kotahi (Te Kotahi Research Institute) at the University of Waikato. Leonie she was Director of a community based company ‘Māori and Indigenous Analysis Ltd’ (2006 -2016), and Director of ‘The International Research Institute for Māori and Indigenous Education’ (IRI), University of Auckland (2002-2006). She has been an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland and an Adjunct Associate Professor for Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.
Leonie is a leading kaupapa Māori educator and researcher and recipient of both the Hohua Tūtengaehe Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship and the Health Research Council Ngā Pou Senior Maori Research Fellow (2016-2018). In 2011 Leonie was the Inaugural Senior Maori Fulbright Scholar with the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) at the University of Washington. In 2015, she was awarded the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) ‘Te Tohu Pae Tāwhiti Award’, for excellence in Māori Educational Research, and was the invited keynote for the 2017 NZARE Herbison Lecture. Te Kotahi Research Institute was also the 2017 recipient of the ‘NZARE Research Group’ award for excellence in Educational Research.
Leonie’s current research projects include: Te Taonga o Taku Ngākau: Ancestral Knowledge as a Framework for Wellbeing for Māori Children; He Oranga Ngākau: Māori Approaches to Trauma Informed Care; Honour Project Aotearoa: Takatāpui/ Māori LGBTIQ wellbeing; Te Tātua o Kahukura: Pathways for Māori and Indigenous Doctoral Scholars; Kare-ā-roto: Decolonising Emotions. She is also takes a lead role in the co-ordination of the Maori and Indigenous PhD Scholars support programme - MAI ki Waikato. Since 2013, Leonie has hosted, with the Te Kotahi team, ‘He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research conference’ a highly successful conference held bi-annually in Waikato.
Leonie has extensive networks connecting her to a wide-range of Indigenous academics, researchers, institutions and communities. She has served on the Māori Health Committee for the Health Research council and on a number of key boards including Māori Television. Te Māngai Pāho (Māori Language Broadcasting funding agency), and was recently appointed to the Board for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (National Māori Centre of Research Excellence). Leonie has been a member of NAISA since 2015 and is on the University of Waikato Conference committee for the 2019 NAISA conference.