Bianet Castellanos was born in Colima, Mexico, and raised in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan. She is associate professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota and an affiliated faculty member in the departments of American Indian Studies and Chicano & Latino Studies. She is also a graduate faculty affiliate in the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change and the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies. She has worked for over two decades with Maya communities in Mexico and more recently in Los Angeles, California. She is the author of A Return to Servitude: Maya Migration and the Tourist Trade in Cancún (University of Minnesota Press, 2010) and co-editor (with Lourdes Gutiérrez Nájera and Arturo Aldama) of Comparative Indigeneities of the Américas: Toward a Hemispheric Approach (University of Arizona Press 2012). In 2017, she edited a forum on settler colonialism in Latin American for American Quarterly and published an essay in the “Critical Latinx Indigeneities” special issue for Latino Studies. She has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Mellon Foundation, the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. She is a member of Mexico’s Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (SNI) and has been a research member of Canada’s National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS) Dialog Network since 2011, which promotes collaboration between indigenous communities and research scholars. She currently serves on the advisory boards of American Quarterly, the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, and El Colegio High School in Minneapolis.
Candidate Statement: NAISA is a unique organization because of its interdisciplinary focus on global indigenous studies. My name is Bianet Castellanos. When I first began attending NAISA in 2009, it became evident that NAISA is a critical space to interrogate the divides that have circumscribed conversations between the North, the global South and the Pacific. As a participant of the Abiayala Working Group, I have been inspired by the work my colleagues have done to promote thoughtful engagement across disciplines, hemispheres, and cultural and linguistic differences. I am running for the position of treasurer in order to contribute to NAISA’s mission of an inclusive indigenous studies that seeks to expand its international reach. I have received training in financial management through my work in various capacities. As the interim chair of the Department of American Studies (January-July 2016) and the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies (June 2016-July 2017), I oversaw annual operating budgets that included office and curriculum management and graduate training and programming. In my role as board member of El Colegio High School, I help manage a $1.6 million operating budget and am head of the fundraising committee. I have also organized and fundraised for symposia and conferences, with the most recent, “Utopian World-Making: Art, Social Justice and Communities of Color,” having taken place in April 2017. I would be honored to be elected to maintain NAISA’s fiscal well-being.
Tsianina Lomawaima (Mvskoke / Creek Nation, not enrolled) joined Arizona State University in January 2014. From 1994-2014 she served on the faculty of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, serving as head from 2005-2009. From 1988–1994, she was a member of the Anthropology & American Indian Studies faculty at the University of Washington.
The recipient of numerous teaching honors, including the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Dr. Lomawaima’s teaching interests include U.S. history, American Indian policy history, Indigenous knowledge systems, and research issues in American Indian education. Her research interests include the status of Native people as U.S. citizens and Native nations as Indigenous sovereigns, the role of Native nations in shaping U.S. federalism, and the history of American Indian schooling. Research on the federal off-reservation boarding school system is rooted in the experiences of her father, Curtis Thorpe Carr, a survivor of Chilocco Indian Agricultural School in Oklahoma, where he was enrolled from 1927 to 1935.
Her books include To Remain an Indian: Lessons for Democracy from a Century of Native American Education (with Teresa McCarty), Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Indian Law (with David Wilkins), and They Called It Prairie Light: The Story of Chilocco Indian School. Lomawaima served as 2012-2013 President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association/NAISA, which she helped found in 2007, and as 2005 President of the American Society for Ethnohistory. She was awarded the Western History Association Lifetime Achievement Award for American Indian History in 2010; in 2016 she was selected a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and elected to the National Academy of Education.
Candidate Statement: I would be honored to help serve NAISA as Treasurer, and I believe my experience with this part of NAISA’s administration might be useful to the organization. I drafted the application to IRS for NAISA’s non-profit 501(c)3 status; set up the original bank accounts, including the merchant portal (enabling NAISA to charge credit cards for donations on the website and for meeting registration); managed the merchant portal and kept the books the first 5-6 years of the organization’s existence; arranged for tax filings the first few years of 501(c)3 status (when our Treasurer was not in the US, and not a US citizen); and kept or helped with the books for several meetings. Several of these systems have been recently updated, and I would be happy to come up to speed to help support NAISA’s financial stability.