African and african american studies



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The 58th Annual

Western Social Science Association (WSSA) Conference

Reno, NV
Conference Abstracts

AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

Stephen Brown,



California Baptist University

Nicholas Alozie,

Arizona State University
Kathy Thomas,

Arizona State University


“Public Attitudes Toward Homosexuality in Africa”
The ease with which African nations that are supposed to be liberal democracies are enacting national legislation criminalizing homosexuality prompts an underlying question: Is there a reservoir of mass support for homosexuality in Africa, and what explains that reservoir of support? This research investigates this question using the 201 Spring Pew Global Attitudes Survey. A measure of support for homosexuality is used to weigh the level of support and then to estimate factors that are associated with such support. We find both sparse and ungendered support for homosexuality in Africa. Moreover, while religion casts a particularly negative influence on willingness to support homosexuality, behavior liberalizing agents such as education, cohort replacement, and urbanization have independent positive effects. The African supporter of homosexuality is an educated, young-adult, middle-class urbanite who is conscious of civil rights and personal liberties and is less encumbered by the religious and morality dogma. Africa’s conservative outlook on homosexuality is not immutable as positions most likely will soften over time. Two parallel social forces will facilitate this softening: The continuing expansion of liberalizing agents such as education, urbanization, and cohort replacement, and realignment of Africans away from communitarianism and traditionalism toward modernism emphasizing individualism, civil rights and personal liberties.

Donovan Branche,

Mary Baldwin College
“Transformational Leadership And Resilience, African-American Female Nonprofit

Leaders”
African-American women represent an untapped resource and bring with them transformational characteristics and resilience that are vital to the increasingly complex world of nonprofit leadership. The black feminist standpoint argues that black women have experienced years of oppression via sexism, racism, and classism. Despite this, many have endured and exceled. The nonprofit sector operates for the public good and accounts for about 5.5% of the United States gross domestic product. This important sector will lose about 75% of its leaders in the next few years due to the retirement of baby boomers. It is crucial that nonprofits consider the next chapter in leadership. This is a mixed-methods study on the leadership styles and resilience of African-American women leaders in nonprofit organizations. Including these women in the leadership pool not only makes sense to nonprofits but also to increasing the social and human capital of the United States.

R.A. Drew,

University of Nevada, Reno


“Revolting Mathematics - How the Mathematics Education Crisis Disproportionately Affects African Diaspora Students and Composite of Solutions to this Crisis”
It is nationally recognized that there is a mathematics education crisis and that it disproportionately affects certain demographics along, but not limited to, race and gender lines. This affects the ability of certain demographics including African Diasporan and female, from completing school at every level, and therefore adversely impacts economic opportunities, motivation, sense of self-worth, and the contributions a diverse graduate population can make to the world. “The Mad Mathematics Student” addresses this crisis from numerous angles including defining the crisis specific to the African Diasporan community, and offering the only controversial composite solution while discussing why it is that such a relatively-simple solution -- which includes naming the three priorities of mathematics education, changing the way mathematics is presented in the classroom, recognizing that mathematics is one of the Fine Arts in a category with sculpting and painting and music and theatre, as well as creating “support group”; type recovery interventions -- has never been recognized or implemented.

Lauren Harris,

New Mexico Highlands University
“Black Women Do Breastfeed?”
Women’s health while pregnant is very important, as well as the education of breast feeding. Both of these are missing as we continue to fund programs like WIC which should be curing this problem. This research will examine prenatal care and breastfeeding education in the Black community among women of color. To explore the care they were given while pregnant and after in the frame work of women in America in general. The goal of this research is to bring to light the discrepancies of treatment that women of color face that plays a key role in the lack of breastfeeding presents in the black community This project will interview women of color who have at least one child and explore their prenatal care and if they were given the proper information on the benefits to breastfeeding. As well as the limits to which women of color face in the arena of breastfeeding such as having to return back to work early. The idea behind this choice of research is it can be a t ool to later educate women of color in the black community to be more aware of the health benefits of breastfeeding as well as the importance of staying healthy (even on low incomes) while pregnant. In the end to hopefully be a stepping stool for further on women of color to help build better programing that can help rebuild breastfeeding for women of color. As this can bring about better health of our women which in turn will provide better health for our children.

George Junne, Jr.,

University of Northern Colorado
“A Cut Above: Chief Black Eunuchs Of The Ottoman Empire”
Africans have lived in the Ottoman Empire, now Turkey, since Roman times. Beginning when Muslims defeated the Byzantines in the battle of Constantinople in 1452, Africans began to be incorporated into one of the greatest empires in history that included North Africa, the current Middle East, areas of the Mediterranean and vast areas of Europe. From 1574 until 1909 AD, the African Chief Black Eunuchs (CBE) of the sultans were the third most powerful people in the Ottoman Empire. This talk will provide biographical information on some of those who ruled as Chief Black Eunuchs for Ottoman sultans plus their contributions. Although many think of the CBE's as only supervising the harems, many of them had fountains erected for travelers, mosques built for worshipers, assisted in running governments and in some cases, helped to depose sultans.

Barbara Randle,

Arkansas State University
“African American Women and Mentorship: On The Road to Tenure”
With the increasing enrollment and graduation rate of African American females, there are a number of opportunities for higher education institutions to create mentoring programs for women of color. Mentorship programs are needed to assist with advancement in higher education positions of leadership. A large percentage of the women enrolling and graduating are entering into assistant professor positions and will soon be on the road to tenure. For African American faculty the intersectionality of race coupled with gender issues creates an even more challenging experience. It is found that mentorship provides psycho-social and career support and role modeling. This research examines the importance of mentorship for African American women on the road to tenure.

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AMERICAN INDIAN STUDIES

Karen Jarratt-Snider,

Northern Arizona University

Alisse Ali-Joseph,



Northern Arizona University

Alisse Ali-Joseph,

Northern Arizona University
“American Indian Collegiate Athletes: Accessing Education through Sport”
As aired at the 2007 Sports Industry Awards in London, Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying that “sport speaks a language which is understood by everyone in the world.” Although sport may be understood by everyone in the world, it is interpreted very differently, given place and context. For American Indian people, sports are grounded in culture and community and mirror a unique connection with the assertion of sovereignty and American Indian identity. The fluidity and prevalence of sports played by American Indian people and communities reflects the plausibility of sport enhancing health and access to education. Historically in American Indian societies, physical activity and sports held a prominent role in daily life. Sports have emerged from a traditional source of strength to a means to improve health and foster education for American Indian communities. This paper will explore the impact of sports on American Indian collegiate athletes to determine factors that both inspired them and inhibited them from the pursuit of athletics in college and will provide the first in depth look at several American Indian collegiate athletes who can document how sports helped or failed to help them reach their educational aspirations.

Patricia Bancroft,

Northern Arizona University
Daniel Barazza,

Northern Arizona University


Darrien Benally,

Coconino Community College


Andria Begay,

Northern Arizona University


Allison Melo,

Coconino Community College


Ulalli Philip,

Northern Arizona Universiity


Athena Talk,

Northern Arizona University


“Student Experiences of Learning in an Indigenous Problem and Place-Based Curriculum”
Former students from the Southwest Native Lands Semester project at Northern Arizona University and Coconino Community College will engage in a roundtable discussion of the impacts of place-based and problem-based learning focusing on environmental issuea affecting lands of Indigenous peoples in the southwestern United States.

Amoneeta Beckstein,

Arizona State University
“Self-Contrual's Influence on the Subjective Happiness of Native Americans”
Philosophers and mankind in general have been interested in the topic of happiness for millennia. In recent years, positive psychologists have taken a keen interest in the topic, however they tend to overlook the happiness of people of color. This is problematic as a much as 95% of the world's population is comprised of people who are different from the average person studied by American psychologists. Literature about Native Americans is lacking, particularly research that examines their strengths and what is going well for them rather than what is not. This study addresses this gap in the literature by looking at the influence of self-construal, a commonly studied cultural construct, on the subjective happiness of 179 urban Native Americans. As part of a larger study, the participants took the Self-Construal Scale and the Subjective Happiness Scale among others. Contrary to prediction, participants with greater interdependent self-construal were not happier whereas those with more independent self-construal were happier. The influence of intergenerational trauma, colonization, mainstream culture, and assimilation are explored as an attempt to make sense of these results.

Baligh Ben Taleb,


“Reckoning with the Legacies of American Settler Colonialism in the Great Plains: the Indian Claims Commission; as a Failure of Truth & Reconciliation”
My doctoral research examines the impact of the Indian Claims Commission (August 1946- September 1978) on the Plains Indians and places it within the dialectic between settler colonialism and truth and reconciliation in the United States. I ask whether the ICC effectively redressed past injustices of the United States against eastern tribes of Nebraska or whether it merely terminated native title to the land and ended white-Indian legal confrontation. Just what motivated the ICC endeavor to resolve tribal claims of title forms an integral part of this research. This paper draws from a body of primary and secondary resources. For instance, I examine the Final Report of the Indian Claims Commission and its Materials at the Oklahoma State University Library to look at moments when eastern nations of Nebraska, like other indigenous tribes, demanded justice. I also place the ICC awards within the recent historiography of truth and reconciliation commissions in settler colonial societies, such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and to ask what extent these awards have settled old grievances of American settler colonialism.

April M. Bond,

University of Arizona
“Situating the Writings of Vine Deloria, Jr. within the Discourse of Critical Theory”
Sociological theory has a long history of taking stock of itself. It is with this in mind that critical theory in the twenty-first century must address theorists writing from the margins. Just as W.E.B. Du Bois and Franz Fanon gave voice to a silenced and oppressed people, Vine Deloria, Jr. articulated the Native American experience throughout his long and prolific career. While his writings enlightened and inspired a generation of Native Peoples and informed the discipline of American Indian Studies, Deloria has not been considered a social theorist within the discourse of Critical Sociological Theory. This study seeks to answer the question of whether Deloria can or should be considered a philosopher and social theorist. Using, the critical hermeneutic process, of the writings of Vine Deloria Jr. vis-à-vis intersections of philosophy, sociology, and critical theory. In its ability to render the personal political, critical hermeneutics provides a methodology for arousing a critical consciousness through the analysis of the generative themes of the present era. For Deloria the themes of ontology, epistemology, identity, authenticity, and sovereignty are all viewed through the critical lens of federal Indian policy and the inherent power imbalance created by it.

Patrick Burtt,

Fort Lewis College
“Violence against Native Women: A Washíw Perspective”
The Federal Indian policies of the 19th and 20th centuries promoted the assimilation of Native Peoples into the dominant society; this process has contributed to both a social and cultural disruption within all Indigenous communities. The negative effects of assimilation contribute to historical trauma and continue to effect Native Peoples to this day. This paper examines, in part, the cultural attack on Native communities, the impact this has had upon community health and well-being, and the spiritual and emotional damage done to both individual and community. In particular, I focus on the erosion of Indigenous lifeways and the impact this has had one of our most precious resources—Indigenous women. Violence against Native women is one present-day manifestation of colonialism. By offering a Washíw perspective, the complex issue of violence against Indigenous women can be investigated and meaningful solutions and recommendations made grounded in the Washíw worldview.

Samuel Villarreal Catanach,

Arizona State University
“Inquiries into and an Argument for the Tewa Language at P’osuwaegeh Owingeh”
The process of colonization has largely taken the people of P'osuwaegeh Owingeh (the Pueblo of Pojoaque) away from our traditional ways. Modern day obligations and distractions are often contradictory to traditional ways and therefore continue this trend and exacerbate the problem. As a result, cultural knowledge gaps have formed between generations and the majority of the community cannot speak the Tewa language, leaving us without the ability to pass this gift on to future generations. Without regaining the ability to speak, cultural knowledge gaps will only continue to grow and worsen. While the Pueblo has taken admirable steps to revitalize such knowledge, grassroots efforts must take place as well. All aspects of Pueblo life are interconnected, and so it is not only the language that is at risk. The peoplehood model helps to demonstrate this. However, in order for the issue of language revitalization to take top priority, language and its connection to other cultural factors in indigenous life must be fully recognized and appreciated. Who will we be if our language dies out? Will we still be P’osuwaegeh t’owa (Pojoaque people)? The importance of examining difficult questions to retain indigeneity is discussed in this paper.

Roger J. Chin,

Claremont Graduate University
Jean Schroedel,

Claremont Graduate University


Lily Rowen,

Claremont Graduate University


“Whose Lives Matter? The Media’s Failure to Cover Police Shootings of Native Americans”
Recent police shootings have invigorated a passionate debate about police-community relations and whether proactive policing strategies have unfairly targeted African Americans. While the national media has focused a great deal of attention on these deaths and the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been almost a complete lack of media scrutiny on the large number of Native Americans who are being shot by the police or dying while in police custody. In this research, we track and compare the numbers of police shootings of African Americans and Native Americans from May 1, 2014 through October 2015. This year and a half period was chosen because it allows us to examine the three months prior to Michael Brown’s killing, and then a substantial period after the killing and the development of the Black Lives Matter movement. Then we will use content analysis methodology to trace and compare the extent of print media coverage generated by these shootings. We expect to find that the deaths of Native Americans have garnered at best minimal attention within their own communities, and no national coverage, aside from possibly within Native American outlets.

Traci L. Friedel,

University of British Columbia
“Sustainability innovations in education: Teaching and learning in Indigenous land-based contexts”
The socio-economic ramifications of restoring Indigenous systems of learning on the land cannot be overstated (Friedel, 2011). Foundational to the idea of land-based learning (Tuck, McKenzie & McCoy, 2014) is the notion of reciprocity—the land and waterways are givers of life, and also of sovereignty—their wellbeing is intricately linked to human health and safety (Alfred & Corntassel, 2005; Coulthard, 2014). Premised upon this fundamental relationship, there are now many inspiring efforts to improve teaching and learning in Indigenous land-based contexts, all which can be considered activist in nature. Having access to opportunities to learn on the land in the manner of their Ancestors is central for advancing sustainability education and is an important form of decolonial healing (Simpson, 2011). The story of historical conquest (e.g. settler colonialism) compounded by the scope of industrial development in recent decades has reduced Indigenous peoples’ access to traditional territories and threatened certain wildlife plant species, fisheries, etc. that are fundamental to maintaining cultural knowledges and ways of life. In narratives told by Indigenous Elders, land or place is the lens through which all relationships are understood.

Michelle L. Hale,

Arizona State University
“Can we all just get along? A Case for Interdisciplinary Research and Pedagogy: A Partnership between Urban Planning and American Indian Studies on issues of Indian Community Development”
All too often planning work is done for Indian communities by the BIA or by consultants hired by tribal government. Missing from this approach to community planning is participation and large scale buy-in from the locals who live there. As more Indian nations grow internal capacity for planning the hope is that one day such work will be done by Indian people in a culturally relevant manner. In 2014, Arizona State University’s Urban Design and Planning and American Indian Studies (AIS) came together to create a course in Tribal Planning that provides students in both majors the opportunity to learn the basics of planning along with the legal, political and cultural challenges of doing such work in tribal communities. This paper argues that such interdisciplinary endeavors are a realistic and relevant way to teach Indian Community and Economic Development. I will share lessons from the course and discuss strategies for including practitioners from the community who do the work of development.

Gavin A. Healey,

University of Arizona
“Unmasking the Acrylic Mist: Demystifying Graffiti Muralism and American Indian Semiotic Signatures on the Modern Landscape”
American Indian graffiti muralism is a terminology that embodies the contemporary art form of mural production by American Indian artists using spray paints to express Indigeneity in different public spaces and on different objects. Using both qualitative analysis and artist collaboration this portion of my dissertation research provides new scholarship on the functionality of American Indian graffiti murals as markers of sovereignty, self-determination and identity in urban American settings. This paper investigates the functionality of different American Indian graffiti mural installations produced by an Artist Advisory Committee using the Indigenous theory of survivance and the social science theory of geosemiotics. The theory of survivance provides analysis on how American Indian graffiti muralist’s infuse iconography and visual semiotic elements in their public art installations that (re)claim public spaces while expressing the ontological aspects of sovereignty, self-determination and identity. Geosemiotics theory provides analysis on how different American Indian graffiti murals interact with the physical landscape to create ideals of place and place perceptions. The narratives of the Artist Advisory Committee regarding their mural installations offer intimate knowledge on the function of this art form and first-person accounts of how artists approach public art differently than other artistic mediums. The tandem relationship of qualitative analysis and artist narratives illuminate how American Indian graffiti muralism is a means to influence a more informed social consciousness regarding the Indigenous peoples of our world.

Karen Jarratt-Snider


Alisee Ali-Joseph
Bryan Bates
Marianne Nielsen
Octaviana Trujillo
“Lessons Learned from an Indigenous Land-Based Curriculum: The Southwest Native Lands Semester”
The Southwest Native Lands Semester is an integrated curriculum using an Indigenous problem-based, place-based pedagogy to deliver courses in mathematics, environmental science and Indigenous studies together during a single semester, supported by a college-based learning community. Instructors and program leaders will discuss lessons learned from this cross-institutional curriculum.

Leo Killsback,

Arizona State University
“’Ve'ho'o Tells the Best Lies’: The Cheyenne Perspective of Colonization”
 Unlike popular belief, which reinforces an idea that the first settlers of the “Wild West” were sophisticated white Americans from the east; the first whites that entered into the so-called “wilderness” of untamed Indian country were neither cultured, wealthy families, nor honorable educated, explorers. Instead, according to historical records and the oral tradition of the Northern Cheyenne, the first white settlers that the Indians encountered, the Cheyenne in particular, were described as strange beings, men crazed by the lust for gold, who were on the brink of insanity. In this first of its kind study, which relies on previously unexplored concepts and ideas, I intend to incorporate the Indian perspective (modern and historical) into the written record to reveal the culture of the first settlers of Cheyenne country. Although the Cheyenne Nation attempted to secure peace through treaty establish relationships through trade, and even establish friendship into perpetuity through storytelling, the strange aliens, through violence and deception, forced the Cheyennes to change their views and base their judgments on whites on actual experiences, not assumptions. The Cheyennes remained distrustful and weary of the whites and this culture remained until the second wave of colonization, during the early reservation era.

John Kilwein,

West Virginia University
“Native American Tribal Sovereignty in the U.S. State Courts of Last Resort”
This paper will examine litigation where Native American tribal sovereignty is contested in the U.S. State courts of last resort. Tribal sovereignty raises significant federalism issues, especially conflicts over the power to govern between the national, state and tribal governments. The data will be drawn from cases decided between 1965 and 2015.

Tracey Lee,

Northern Arizona University
Deann Nishimura-Thornton,

Northern Arizona University


Shine Salt,

Northern Arizona University


Jonathan Yellowhair,

Northern Arizona University


“Applied Indigenous Studies: Establishing a Broad Foundation for Native-Nation Building”
Northern Arizona University undergraduate Applied Indigenous Studies students are exploring the challenges of the 21st century and are generating new modes of nation building through their obligation of earning an education and providing for their communities. The themes of the undergraduate student panel range from cultural revitalization through natural resource management, tribal elder programs, substance abuse programs, Native American foster care programs, as well as the state of federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. These topics are essential to native nation building, generating action towards cultural revitalization and economic sustainability and emphasizing the importance of community based participatory research.

Kathy Lewis,

North Idaho College
Chris Norden,

Lewis-Clark State College


Christopher Riggs,

Lewis-Clark State College


Philip Stevens,

University of Idaho


“Why You Can’t Teach without American Indians: Integrating North American Tribal History, Knowledge, Methodologies, and Ethics into the College/University General Education Curriculum”
This discussion panel takes its title from the 2015 book _Why You Can’t Teach United States History without American Indians_. That work identifies ways to redesign introductory United States history courses – which have often been taught in a manner that marginalized Native Americans -- to be more inclusive of the experiences of indigenous peoples. We propose to broaden that discussion to include the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences courses typically found in the General Education Core. At the micro-level, the roundtable will consider specific ideas about how to incorporate American Indian topics into such classes and the benefits of that incorporation. For example, including tribal governments in an American National Government course would provide an opportunity for a comparative examination with federal and state governments that would allow for valuable insights into all three forms of government. The panel will also examine larger theoretical and practical issues.

Tenille Marley,

Arizona State University
“History and Historical Trauma: Determinants of American Indian Health”
American Indians (AI) experience disparities in many areas, especially in health. Many of these health disparities are associated with colonization, including land loss and destruction, and forced changes in lifestyles. Many of these experiences can be characterized as historical trauma, the “cumulative emotional and psychological wounding, over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma experiences” (Brave Heart & DeBruyn, 1998, p. 7). Across “Indian County” and AI health literature, historical trauma is the most widely recognized and/or accepted explanation for poor health outcomes. This purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between history and/or historical trauma and health using semi-structured interviews of key informants from an American Indian community. Findings suggest that history—particularly place-based history—is an overarching determinant of health for this community. This research gives prominence to the premise that for a tribe residing in its ancestral homeland, disruptions and cultural losses do impact health.

Saundra Mitrovich,

University of Nevada, Reno
Kari Emm,

University of Nevado, Reno


Fredina Drye Romero,

Nevada Department of Education


Marissa Weaselboy,

University of Nevada, Reno


Panel Presentation
The Indian Education Advisory Committee in the state of Nevada is comprised of early head start to post-secondary teachers, administrative professionals, and tribal education departments. Committee members are key stakeholders in providing crucial programs in
higher education preparation for k-12 and post-secondary students. Programs include but are not limited to the following: curriculum and instruction and sociocultural development. Panel members will discuss how they identified key stakeholders in their area/regions for early childhood, K-12, and post-secondary focused on American Indian/Alaska Native education initiatives. Additionally, they will identify crucial pieces of statewide legislation that affects education initiatives in areas of literacy, core standards, and post-secondary persistence and graduation rates. At the end of the session, participants will gain a sense of how they can build their statewide education advisory committee by identifying cradelboard to college stakeholders.

Mahlia Newmark,

Arizona State University
“Reclaiming Dene Womanhood in Our Stories”
Aboriginal women challenge the settler colonial narrative. We threaten the idea that we are inferior based on our race, gender and sexuality when we live within our own worldviews, cultures, histories and stories. In the act of telling our own stories we have the opportunity to disrupt structures embedded in settler colonialism. Thus, our stories are critical to ourselves and others. There are remarkable stories about Dene women that deserve to be acknowledged. Harriet Gladue, my Small Granny’s story is one of them. Not only was she the embodiment of Dene womanhood, she was a recognized midwife for over forty years. Her story is important because she provides insight on being Dene that are important for contemporary Dene women like myself who want to reclaim Dene identity. Her life provides an alternative model for living. To share my Small Granny’s story I obtained written texts on her life, conducted interviews with family and close friends, reviewed literature on the Dene, Native feminist theory, and Indigenous studies scholarship. This paper explores the Dene First Nation worldview, embodiment of Dene womanhood, and rejection of settler colonialism.

Marianne O. Nielsen,

Northern Arizona University
“The First Hate Crime Against American Indians”
Hate crimes are the most severe form of ethnoviolence, and a form of social control aimed at putting the group the victims represent “in their place” and sending a political message to those in power that the perpetrators are unhappy with the “leniency” shown by the authority. These acts are not only perpetrated in the modern day, but have been occurring throughout American colonial history. The first hate crime against American Indians may have been the murder of Christian Conestoga Indians by the Paxton Boys in 1763 in Pennsylvania. The Paxton Boys were settlers angry that the Pennsylvania legislature, influenced by Quaker ideals of equality and peace, continued diplomatic relations with Indian Peoples despite “Pontiac’s War.” Also, the legislature honored the treaties with Indians and would not allow the settlers to drive the Indians from the coveted land. The Paxton Boys were never arrested for their crime, but their “political message” to the government was heard

Marianne O. Nielsen,

Northern Arizona University
Cheryl Redhorse Bennett,

Fort Lewis College


Karen Jarratt-Snider,

Northern Arizona University


Anne Luna-Gordinier,

Susquehanna University


Eileen Luna-Firebaugh,

University of Arizona


“Research Updates: American Indian/Native American Justice”
Participants will discuss their latest research and scholarly projects on: crime at boarding schools, hate crimes/Native Lives Matter, Indian Country data collection, mining spills and environmental justice, and VAWA and sexual assault.

Nick Peroff,

University of Missouri-Kansas City
Gary Besaw, Chairman

Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin


“The Possible Return of Indian Termination Policy: A Menominee Perspective”
In one form or another, Indian Termination Policy reappears in cycles. The Dawes General Allotment Act in late 1880's was followed by the Indian Reorganization Act in the 1930's, then Indian Termination Policy in the 1950's was trailed by Indian Self-determination in the 1970's. Today, calls in Congress to “free the Indian” indicate a reemergence of Indian Termination Policy. This paper will review the termination of the Menominee Tribe in the 1950's/1960's, their successful fight for restoration in the 1970’s, and the lasting impacts of Termination Policy today. We conclude with some likely consequences of another round of Indian Termination Policy for the Menominee Nation and Indian Country generally.

Stephen Sachs,

Professor Emeritus, IUPUI
Christina A.Clamp,

Southern New Hampshire College


Donna Kay Dial,

Professor Emeritus, IUPUI


“Returning to Reciprocity: Re-conceptualizing Economics and Development, An Indigenous Economics for the Twenty-First Century”
The current economics of the world are terribly out of balance and unsustainable, and have brought us to growing environmental and human crisis that will soon reach unprecedented proportions, Moving to economic theory and practice based upon Indigenous values, as exemplified by the ways of traditional North American Indians offers a way to return relations among human beings and with the Earth and all beings to harmony and balance. This means applying Indigenous values appropriately for the conditions of the Twenty-first Century.

Matthew David Schwoebel,

University of Arizona
“Theory In Action and Through Story: Dominant Themes of American Indian Studies through the Lens of Vine Deloria, Jr.’s text, Singing for a Spirit.”
As an interdisciplinary field, the methods of American Indian Studies are varied and there is no central theory. While a cursory look may conclude that American Indian Studies contains no theory, I think the discipline has developed a set of rich conceptual frameworks. Vine Deloria, Jr.’s work, particularly the book, Singing for a Spirit: A Portrait of the Dakota Sioux, illuminates and engages the dominant themes of the discipline. The text describes the family history of the Deloria family and the band of the Yanktonais of the Dakota nation, while placing this history and identity into conversation with such themes as change and continuity and the privileging of Indigenous knowledge as a hermeneutic frame. These dominant themes act similar to a theoretical framework in that they offer a means to make sense of the complex world around us. My paper discusses the book (referencing other relevant texts from the Deloria family, particularly Philip J. Deloria’s 2013 article in AIQ and Vine Deloria, Sr.’s "The Establishment of Christianity among the Sioux.") as part of the Vine Deloria, Jr. legacy, while drawing out and defining some of the dominant themes from the book that offers useful guidance for research in the discipline.

Margaret Urie,

University of Nevada Reno
“Boarding School Blues: Crossing Borders in the Narratives of Zitkala-Sa and Sherman Alexie”
From their earliest encounters with Native Americans, Europeans attempted to remove them from the land—through pacts, treaties, warfare, resettlement, and extermination. By the late 1870s, however, Indian reformers, who were often Quakers and missionaries, became uncomfortable with these extermination policies and sought ways to “civilize” and Christianize the natives while assimilating them into the larger American culture. They found their man in Col. Richard Henry Pratt, an officer in the Indian Territories and now the head of an Indian prison in St. Augustine, Florida. There, he cut off the Indians’ hair, issued them military uniforms, organized them into companies, and instructed them in military drill, all in an attempt at assimilation. (“Kill the Indian, not the man” was his motto.) Further, Pratt thought he would have equal success with Indian children, if they were removed from their reservations at a young age. Then far from tribal life, they too could be transformed into white people—God-fearing, soil-tilling Americans. Pratt opened Carlisle Indian Industrial School (a former army barracks) in 1878 with 82 children. This became the model for subsequent Indian Schools

Moana Vercoe,

TURN Research
“Three Strikes, You’re Incarcerated: How Law Enforcement Detection, Classification and Sentencing Results in the Disproportionate Incarceration of American Indians in Montana”
Although American Indians make up 7 percent of the Montana population, they account for 17 percent of criminal offenders under the jurisdiction of the Montana Department of Corrections. This disparity becomes even more extreme when Montana’s prison population is brought into focus – with American Indians accounting for 20 percent of incarcerated men and one third of all women in prison. I examine the three point of contact with the criminal justice system – arrest, charging and sentencing – to show a greater severity in the treatment received by American Indians. While these processes result in harsher sentencing for a greater number of first time offenders, the functioning of the Department of Corrections itself contributes to the higher recidivism rates of American Indians. This paper provides an analysis of American Indians at various points within Montana’s criminal justice system in highlighting the need for reforms that pay more than lip service to the needs of Montana’s largest minority population.

Rick Wheelock,

Fort Lewis College
“Experiences in Indian Self-Determination: Nativizing concepts of Journalism to help empower Indigenous Communities”
This paper will focus upon the use of journalistic principles intended to meet communications challenges Native people have faced as Indian Self-Determination has developed into a viable public policy. The "nativization" of mass society's journalistic concepts has had great impact, raising hopes that useful understandings of the very human process of effective communications can be found as Native communities continue the struggle to maintain and strengthen tribal sovereignty into the future.

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