2018-2019 Events

Indigenous Epistemology, Pedagogy and the Transformation of the Academy

Wednesday, April 10th

Manulani Aluli Meyer is the fifth daughter of Emma Aluli and Harry Meyer who grew up on the sands of Mokapu and Kailua beach on the island of O’ahu. The Aluli ohana is a large and diverse group of scholar-activists dedicated to Hawaiian education, justice, land reclamation, law, health, cultural revitalization, arts education, prison reform, food sovereignty, transformational economics, and music. Manu works in the field of indigenous epistemology and its role in world-wide awakening. Her background is in wilderness education, coaching, and experiential learning and she has been an Instructor for Outward Bound, a coach for Special Olympics, and a cheer-leader for the Hawaiian Charter School movement. Dr. Aluli Meyer has been an Associate Professor of Education at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and spent five years in New Zealand as the lead designer/teacher for He Waka Hiringa, an innovative Masters in Applied Indigenous Knowledge degree at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, the largest Māori university with 30,000+ students.

Perspectives on Mauna a Wakea

Saturday, March 9th

Join Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown for scholarly and activist perspectives on the fight of Kānaka Maoli and their allies to protect Mauna a Wakea, a sacred and ecologically delicate mountain on the island of Hawai’i. Iokepa Casumbal-Salazar, Kaleikoa Ka’eo, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Hawane Rios, and Dean Saranillio, weigh in on debates about the “non-invasive” Western science of astronomy and the self-determination of Hawai’i’s first people and nation. Each talk will be thirty minutes long with fifteen minutes for questions and a break to follow. At 4:00 PM, our guests will come together for a panel to share their thoughts with each other and the audience. All are welcome.

Featured Presentations:

“Aloha ‘Āina ‘O‘ia‘i‘o” by Kaleikoa Ka’eo, University of Hawai’i Maui College

“Ka Piko Kaulana o ka ‘Āina: Mauna Kea as Relation and Anti-Colonial Critique” by Iokepa Casumbal-Salazar, Ithaca College

“Slow Resistance and the Fail-Forward Logic of Settler Colonialism” by Dean Saranillio, New York University

Panel Discussion with Iokepa Casumbal-Salazar, Kaleikoa Ka’eo, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Hawane Rios, and Dean Saranillio​

Chante Tin’sa Kinanzi Po (People Stand with a Strong Heart): Still Standing Up for Standing Rock

Saturday, March 2nd

A panel discussion with Bobbi Jean Three Legs and Indigenous Water Protectors. Followed by screenings of Black Snake, a 360° virtual reality short film experience featuring citizens of Standing Rock, by Philip Sanchez ’05.

This event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments provided.

Co-sponsored by Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown, Native American Brown Alumni, and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Brown Bag featuring: Prof. Nitana Hicks-Greendeer

Tuesday, November 6th

Mukayuhsak Weekuw: Language and Culture Immersion for Wampanoag Children

Nitana Hicks-Greendeer, Postdoctoral Fellow, American Studies and Native American and Indigenous Studies

Mukayuhsak Weekuw in a Wôpanâak Language Immersion School that currently serves children in Wampanoag households between the ages of 2.5-6. The school is the work of the devoted Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project language teachers, speakers, and families. This discussion focuses on how the school has come to this point and the ways the school incorporates culture education as well as Montessori pedagogy in a Wôpanâak language immersion environment.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Brown Bag featuring: Prof. Robert Preucel and Gregory Hitch

Tuesday, October 23rd

"Decolonizing the Anthropocene: Developing an Alternative to Colonial Capitalism Amid the Climate Crisis"

Gregory Hitch, Doctoral Student - American Studies

 For Indigenous peoples, the start of the Anthropocene could be placed at the onset of settler colonialism. Invading European powers employed a multipronged method of conquest that devastated Indigenous communities, including: scorched-earth warfare, forced relocation onto reservations, vicious acculturation activities, and terraforming the landscape (i.e. clearcutting forests, plowing the prairies, damming rivers, introducing exotic species). As Kyle Whyte recently wrote, “some indigenous peoples already inhabit what our ancestors would have likely characterized as a dystopian future.” Drawing from my work with the Menominee community, I will explore how through sustainable forestry, regenerative agriculture, and renewable energy, they are actively building an alternative to colonial capitalism. Moreover, by simultaneously addressing climate change and fostering livelihoods, the Menominee are developing an ecologically responsive, holistic, and durable economy that ensures the well-being of both the human and other-than-human world. 

"Decolonizing Southwestern Archaeology: The Continuous Path Project"

Professor Robert Preucel, James Manning Professor of Anthropology, Director of Haffenreffer Museum

Southwestern archaeology is typically defined as the study of the prehistory of the Indigenous peoples of the American Southwest. This framing relegates the archaeology of the historical period to secondary status. In my presentation, I critique this divide and discuss some of the ways in which we might begin a decolonization process. I draw attention to the importance of the archaeology of the Pueblo Revolt as an expression of cultural survivance and sovereignty. I then turn to a discussion of the Continuous Path Project, a collaboration between Pueblo and non-Pueblo archaeologists, anthropologist, historians, and Tribal Historical Preservation Officers, that takes seriously Pueblo concepts of movement and privileges concepts of being and becoming in the interpretation of anthropological data. What results is an emphasis on historical continuities and an appreciation that the same concepts of movement that guided the actions of Pueblo people in the past continue to do so in the present and into the future.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Brown Bag featuring: Prof. Scott AnderBois and Prof. Mary Tuti Baker

Wednesday, October 10th

“Hoʻoulu ʻĀina: Embodied Aloha ʻĀina Enacting Indigenous Futurities.” 

Professor Mary Tuti Baker, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science

Mary Tuti Baker is a 'Oiwi (Native Hawaiian) scholar committed to promoting 'Oiwi praxis in the present that engenders life sustaining preferred futures that are anchored in ancestral knowledge and values. She is currently working on a book project based on her dissertation “Ho'oulu 'Aina: Embodied Aloha 'Aina Enacting 'Oiwi Futurities” that refines her thinking on Indigenous ideologies. She argues that through resurgent practices Indigenous peoples develop Indigenous ideologies that provide the springboard for enacting indigenous futurities. Indigenous ideologies emerge out of discursive and material practices that are anchored in place and worldviews that honor the kinship relationship between humans and 'aina. Her most recent publication is a chapter in The Routledge Handbook on Postcolonial Politics entitled “Waiwai (Abundance) and Indigenous Futures” in which she tells the story of two communities in Hawai’i that are a part of a global network of native spaces whose diverse practices coalesce around the organizing principles of anarcha-indigenism, a world-view grounded in indigenous land-based practice and knowledge systems that articulate with anarchist principles of fluid leadership and horizontal power structures. 

“Documenting reported speech and perspective taking in A’ingae narratives”

Professor Scott AnderBois, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences 

Languages possess a wide variety of different means of conveying information acquired from another person, including direct quotation, indirect speech reports, parenthetical indirect reports, free-indirect discourse, and reportative evidentials. The use of these various forms along with context also often helps convey speakers’ own stance towards the reported content. This short talk reports on an ongoing project in collaboration with A’i community members to collect a diverse body of narratives, interviews, and other materials to examine these various constructions as well as to produce community-oriented materials. I will also talk in a bit more detail about one of the most intriguing findings in our pilot data: the use of falsetto to convey shifts in perspective within a narrative. This use of falsetto is to my knowledge unlike any other reported in previous literature in its form (being realized on a single syllable) and in it’s function (not conveying any sort of motivated social or other iconic meaning).

2018 Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebration

Saturday, October 6th

Three years ago a coalition of Native students and faculty members successfully lobbied Brown University to change the name of Fall Weekend to Indigenous Peoples Day, a day devoted to thanking and honoring the traditional and ancestral guardians of this land and celebrating our rich and diverse Native cultures together! 

Join us as we feature Ladies of Native Comedy, three of the funniest Native American female comedians! We will have a meal catered by the incredible Mashpee Wampanoag chef Sherry Pocknett while we enjoy various local performances.

Seventh Generation Rising: A Discussion with Native Youth Activists

Friday, October 5th

Kick off Indigenous Peoples’ Day weekend by meeting youth activists integral to protests at Standing Rock, Bears Ears, and Brown University. Panelists include Kara Roanhorse, Bobbi Jean Three Legs, and Byron Shorty, and the event will be moderated by Mary Tuti Baker. 

Supported by Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown and Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. Reception to follow.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Brown Bag featuring: Prof. Bathsheba Demuth and Prof. Andrew Scherer

Wednesday, September 26th

Knowledge of the Ice: Whales, Whalers, and Navigating Change in the Bering Strait 

Professor Bathsheba Demuth, Assistant Professor of History

Iñupiaq and Yupik whalers in the Western Arctic have a long history of using sea ice, as knowing how to navigate the changeable geography of the sea's frozen surface was a critical part of finding, hunting, and communicating with whales. Bowheads also know and use ice in their migration. This presentation will discuss how ice enabled this human-cetacean relationship, and how use of the ice changed after commercial whalers - some of them from Rhode Island - arrived in the 1850s.  

Archaeology of the Ancient Maya on the Mexican-Guatemalan Border

Professor Andrew Scherer, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology

In this brief lecture, Scherer will present the results of recent studies of the ancient Maya kingdoms of Piedras Negras and Yaxchilan conducted by his research team, the Proyecto Paisaje Piedras Negras-Yaxchilan. He will also discuss the politics of conducting that research across an international border, where stakeholders include the governments of two nation-states, local NGOs, cattle ranchers, and a diverse range of ladino and indigenous communities.

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Events Co-Sponsored by NAIS

College Horizons

June 22 - June 28, 2019

Native Americans at Brown Commencement Dinner

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Rigoberto Queme Chay – How Indigenous peoples of Guatemala navigate the political and economic crises of globalization

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Presentation of the short film Entretejido followed by scholarly talk by Patricia Alvarez Astacio

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Indigeneity and Diaspora: Global Legal and Linguistic Activism

Thursday, March 14 – Friday, March 15, 2019

Screening of Shash Jaa’ with Angelo Baca

Monday, February 25

Peripheries: The Politics of Space and Place

February 22-23, 2019

Annual Sonia Galletti Memorial Lecture by Coll Thrush: Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire

January 28, 2019

Pedro Mandagará - Native Brazilian Literatures and Ecocriticism

Monday, October 22, 2018

Nidiria Ruiz Medina – In Defense of Ancestral Lands: Afro-Colombian Women Resist U.S. Militarization and the War on Drugs

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Américo Mendoza-Mori – Teaching Quechua: Winning Spaces for Indigenous Languages in Academia

Thursday, October 4th