Fall 2021


*All in person events are subject to Brown University's shifting COVID-19 guidelines

The Beads That Bought Manhattan: A Conversation

Collaboration with the Brown Arts Institute

Oct. 12, 6:00pm-7:30pm, in person 154 Angell St, Providence, RI 02906

Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center

Join artist Hartman Deetz and Indigenous human rights lawyer Michelle Cook to celebrate their project on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which is currently on view in Granoff’s Cohen Gallery. Deetz and Cook will be in conversation in Martinos Auditorium followed by a reception.

This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are suggested but not required; seating is first-come, first-served. Doors open at 5:30pm.

Register here.

The (Post)Colonial Predicament in Community Mental Health Services for American Indians: Explorations in AlterNative Psy-ence

October 13, 6:00pm-7:30pm, via Zoom**

In this talk, Dr. Joseph Gone explores depression and problem drinking among his own people on the Fort Belknap Indian reservation in Montana, USA. He interviewed a middle-aged cultural traditionalist named Traveling Thunder who explained to me why many community members struggled with substance abuse and associated distress. In his view, the primary problem was that, “We never was happy living like a Whiteman.” Talk to be followed by questions and answers moderated by NAISI affiliate faculty Dr. Jeffrey Proulx.

Register here.

The Search for the Anasazi: A Conversation with the Chongo Brothers

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

October 14, 6pm-7:30pm, via Zoom*

Join Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Director, Dr. Robert Preucel as he welcomes the Chango Brothers: Diego and Mateo Romero (Cochiti Pueblo) for a screening and lively conversation of their film The Search for the Anasazi. This film is a satirical take on archaeologist’s fascination with Pueblo culture and a Native commentary on archaeologist-Native relations. Supported by generous donors to Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum.

Register here.

Beyond the Trail of Tears: K-12 Education about Native Americans at the National Museum of the American Indian

by the Center for Public Humanities

October 19, 12pm-1pm via Zoom**

For centuries, Native Americans have been depicted as backward savages. Such beliefs have been perpetuated by people and institutions to justify horrendous treatment and to serve political and economic purposes. Native American content in K-12 education is inaccurate and incomplete. Such omissions and insufficient knowledge perpetuate stereotyped and racist thinking and behaviors toward Native Americans and leave generations of Americans with an incomplete understanding of U.S. and world history. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is engaged in Native Knowledge 360°, a national initiative to transform K-12 education about Native Americans.

Register here.

Storied Portraiture: Practicing Community Strokes

by the Native American Heritage Series

October 20, 6pm-7:30pm in person* at Peterutti Lounge for Brown Native students, staff, and faculty only

Join the Native American Heritage Series for an evening of storied painting, in which we encourage you to thread your ideas and themes that run through your mind onto the space a canvas offers, in collaboration with our other community members. By the end of the night, we will have an anthology and gallery of storied portraits.

Register here.

Patricia Rubertone, Native Providence

by the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America

October 21, 4pm-5pm via Zoom**

In Native Providence, Patricia Rubertone describes Providence as a city of modest size with the third-largest Native American population in the U.S. by the first decade of the 20th century. Native Providence tells their stories at this historical moment and in the decades before and after, a time when European Americans claimed that Northeast Natives had mostly vanished. Rubertone chronicles the survivance of the Native people who stayed, left, and returned, who faced displacement by urban renewal, who lived in Provi­dence briefly, or who made their presence known there and in the wider indigenous and settler-colonial worlds.

Register here.

Indigenous DC: Native Peoples and the Nation’s Capital 

by the Center for Public Humanities 

October 28, 12pm-1pm via Zoom**

In this talk, Elizabeth Rule, PhD (enrolled citizen, Chickasaw Nation; Assistant Professor of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies at American University) will discuss the historical and contemporary Indigenous presence in Washington, DC. She will showcase her iOS mobile application, the Guide to Indigenous DC, which maps 17 sites of Indigenous importance in the District of Columbia, and preview her forthcoming manuscript, Indigenous DC: Native Peoples and the Nation’s Capital.

Join here.

Dia De Los Muertos with Sarah Chavez

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

October 25, 6pm-7pm via Zoom**

Join Sarah Chavez as she unpacks the history behind today’s Dia de Muertos traditions. Learn how Dia de Muertos connects to a rich legacy of resistance that defines identity, cultivates community, and helps to decolonize the borders between the living and the dead.  Supported by generous donors to Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum.

Register here.

Spring 2021

Weekly Open Hours

Mondays, 3PM-5PM ET, recurring every week!

Communications coordinator Rae Kuruhara and Program Coordinator Makana Kushi host this virtual space for anyone interested in NAISI, and particularly targeted toward our students, every week! We rotate between NAIS programs, study sessions, and fun stuff like cooking webinars and crafting time. Email Makana for the zoom link at [email protected].

NAISI Open House and Meet and Greet With Tribal Community Member in Residence, Karen Craddock

January 14, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. EDT

Sarah Deer Presidential Lecture
Sovereignty of the Soul: Confronting Gender-Based Violence in Native America

February 18 (12 PM ET)

Virtual Presidential Lecture by Dr. Sarah Deer (Muscogee [Creek] Nation), University Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas

Professor Deer will share information about the history of violence against women and two-spirit (LGBTQ+) people in tribal communities and legal changes that will allow tribal nations to assert sovereignty over criminal and civil cases involving victims of crime. The keynote will highlight the role of advocates in engaging in law reform with an aim for justice for marginalized communities.

Native Community Art Night

February 25 (6:30PM-8:00PM ET)

Join NAISI and the Brown Center for Students of Color Native American Heritage Series for a community art night, where we will create our art around a collaboratively chosen theme on zoom. Email program coordinator Makana Kushi to RSVP and for details at [email protected].

Regeneration: Relationships of Kinship, Care, and Becoming/Transformation
with Leanne Simpson

SAVE THE DATE: March 4-5

A collaboration with Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender for Women’s History Month. Check the NAISI website and calendar for more details on this mini-residency with renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, and artist Leanne Betasamosake.  

A collaboration with Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender for Women’s History Month.

Yarn Lei Workshop and Lei Hulu History with Makana Kushi & Rae Kuruhara

April 14, 6-8 PM Eastern

Organized by Gather. Make Sustain. at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Indigenous Informers, Elusive Empires, and the Mismapping of French North America

April 26, 11AM-12PM ET

A virtual, guided show-and-tell with John Carter Brown Library curator Bertie Mandelblatt in collaboration with Scott Berthelette (Queen's University, Canada).

Zoom link:

Fall 2020

NAISI Virtual Open House

Monday, September 7, 3-4pm EDT
Registered in the quiet period event registration form

NAISI Student Research Symposium

Friday, September 18, 2pm-5pm EDT  
Saturday, September 19, 2pm-5pm EDT

Undergraduate and graduate students present research findings on NAISI adjacent topics

Virtual Cornhusk Doll Workshop w/ Leah Hopkins

Wednesday, September 23, 6pm-7pm EDT
Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Relationships, Reciprocity, and Responsibilities: Indigenous Studies in Archives and Beyond

September 21-25, 2020
All sessions will be held via Zoom Webinar. Links to individual panels will be sent via email 24 hours in advance.
American Philosophical Society

Women Do Archaeology: Leah Hopkins

Thursday, October 29, 12pm EDT
Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Spring 2020

Jean O’Brien Brown Bag Talk: “Monument Mobility: The Memory Work of Massasoit”

February 11, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Rhode Island Hall 108

Linda Tuhiwai Smith Presidential Lecture and Residency

Pre-Lecture Reception, February 20, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Granoff Center Lobby

Presidential Lecture, February 20, 6:30pm-7:30pm
Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center 

Candace Fujikane, "Abundant Cartographies for Planetary Futures"

Friday, March 6, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Smith-Buonnano Hall, Room 106, 95 Cushing St, Providence RI
Co-sponsored by Mellon Workshop for Settler Colonial Entanglements

CANCELED Screening of Dawnland Documentary Movie

Wednesday, March 11, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Friedman Hall 108

CANCELED Dario Valles Brown Bag Talk: "Indigeneity at the US-Mexican Border: Transnational Indigenous Migration and the Asylum Crisis in Baja California"

Thursday, March 19, 12:30pm-2:00pm
Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, 21 Prospect St., Providence, RI 02912

CANCELED Keynote Conversation on Conjuring, Crossing and Unsettling: Rethinking Borders and Boundaries
Dr. Quintarrius Shakir and Dr. Natalie Mae Avalos with Sherenté Harris
Week-long Scholar Residencies on the Practices and Theories of Religion, Culture and Identity

Thursday, April 2, 6:30pm (Reception at 5:45pm)
Stephen Roberts ‘62 Student Center, Petteruti Lounge​, 75 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 
Co-sponsors: Institute for Transformative Practice at Brown, Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown; The Center for Social Equity and Inclusion at RISD, The Unity Center at Rhode Island College

CANCELED Radical Gardening in the Time of Climate Anxiety

Friday, April 10, 1:00pm-7:00pm
Pembroke Hall 305

CANCELED Sarah Deer Presidential Lecture

Thursday, April 16, 6:00pm-7:30pm 
Smith-Buonanno Hall, Room 106, 95 Cushing St, Providence RI

CANCELED Annual Spring Thaw Powwow - BCSC Native Heritage Series event

April 18 - Time and location TBD
NAIS Co-Sponsored Event

CANCELED Jim Diamond Brown Bag Talk

Date and Location TBD

CANCELED NAB/A Commencement Dinner for Native and Indigenous Seniors

May 23, Time and Location TBD

Fall 2019

Protecting Earth's Last Great Wild Salmon Fishery: Pebble Mine

Wednesday, September 25, 6:00pm-7:30pm

Smith-Buonnano Hall, Room 106, 95 Cushing St, Providence RI

Verner Wilson III (Curyung, Environmental Studies '08) and Deenaalee Hodgdon (Deg Xit'an Dene/Alutiiq, Anthropology '19) discuss the impacts of the proposed mine on the people, fish, animals, land and waters of their region of Bristol Bay.

Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative: Public Humanities Lunch Talk with Cassius Spears

Thursday, October 8

John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities, 357 Benefit St., Providence, RI 02912

Cassius Spears will discuss his work with the Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative at Crandall Minacommuck Farm in Westerly, RI, a parcel of land owned by the Narragansett Tribe. The Initiative is developing community gardens, individual lease gardens, a farm stand, a historic farm museum, and educational trails. Cassius Champlin Spears Sr. has dedicated his life to the preservation of Narragansett culture throughout New England and the world. He has worked as a Cultural Educator for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and has served as Cultural Advisor for numerous educational projects including the PBS documentary “We Shall Remain – After the Mayflower.” He has served on Plimoth Plantation’s Wampanoag Indigenous Program’s Advisory Board, and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Native Arts Advisory Committee. In 2016 Spears represented the Narragansett community in Marrakech, Morocco, at the COP22 UNESCO pre-conference, sharing the effects of climate change from the Narragansett perspective.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Brown Bag Series: Alyssa Mt. Pleasant

Thursday, October 24

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, 21 Prospect St., Providence, RI 02912

Alyssa Mt. Pleasant (Tuscarora), PhD, specializes in Native American and Indigenous Studies, with a focus on Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) history during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her broader teaching and research interests include early American history, American Indian social and intellectual histories; settler colonialism, especially as it relates to legal and educational systems; conceptualizations of space, place, and land tenure in Indian Country; and public history. Her work has or will be published in American Indian Quarterly and several collections of scholarly work. She is currently revising a manuscript titled, "After the Whirlwind: Haudenosaunee People and the Emergence of U.S. Settler-coloniailsm, 1780-1825."

Reflections on "Drone Warriors: the Art of Surveillance and Resistance at Standing Rock," a Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Exhibit, by Co-curator Dr. Adrienne Keene

Thursday, October 24

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, 21 Prospect St., Providence, RI 02912

NAIS faculty member and Assistant Professor in American Studies Adrienne Keene will reflect on her co-curated exhibit on the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology on Drone Warriors at Standing Rock. As the Water Protectors faced militarized police, National Guard roadblocks, and heavy surveillance from local, state, and federal forces, a group of photographic drone operators emerged within their ranks. These Drone Warriors used technology to document the militarized force and police brutality the Water Protectors faced. By sending their drones up and over barricades, they illuminated spaces hidden from the public, unmasked the face of force, and showed the world the beauty of the landscape that was threatened by construction and potential contamination. Their images motivated Water Protectors to join the movement in person, through donations, or by spreading the word on Facebook and with hashtags like #NoDAPL. We can view the use of drones by the Drone Warriors as an indigenization of neocolonial military and corporate surveillance technology. However, we also see in these images forms of aesthetic protest in which the beauty of the water, land, and the Movement itself are on full display.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Brown Bag Series: Darren Ranco 

Monday, November 4

Darren Ranco is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and the Coordinator of Native American Research at the University of Maine. His research focuses on the ways in which indigenous communities in the United States resist environmental destruction by using indigenous diplomacies and critiques of liberalism to protect cultural resources, and how state knowledge systems, rooted in colonial contexts, continue to expose indigenous peoples to an inordinate amount of environmental risk. He teaches classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance. A member of the Penobscot Indian Nation, he is particularly interested in how better research relationships can be made between universities, Native and non-Native researchers, and indigenous communities.

Reflections on "Sacred is Sacred: The Art of Protecting Bears Ears," a Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Exhibit, by Curator Isabella Robbins 

Friday, December 6th

Curator Isabella Robbins (Navajo, Public Humanities MA '19) reflects on her exhibit in the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology before its closing. For many years, Indigenous peoples have fought to designate Bears Ears as a national monument. Its two iconic buttes rising from the southern Utah skyline are now the center of a contested sacred landscape. These buttes and the land surrounding them were homes to Indigenous people who used its natural features for hundreds of generations before President Obama declared it a national monument in December 2016. The land is marked with petroglyphs made by those who used its plants, animals and other natural materials to make their food, homes, and culture. The area is embedded within creation stories and tales known to ancestors and people today. However, this area is also rich in oil and gas. Renewed calls for resource extraction threaten the natural and cultural landscape of Bears Ears. One year after President Obama’s monument dedication, President Trump removed 85% of the monument from protected status. Indigenous peoples are leading the fight for its protection. Translated through arts, contemporary and past, this exhibition examines many stories of Bears Ears: the beauty of the land, the ways in which Indigenous peoples have come together to start a movement, the roles women and youth play in it, and how people are learning and healing through their fight to protect Bears Ears and preserve its sacrality. Through the voices and works in this exhibit, you will see and explore why protecting Bears Ears and the movement is important to Indigenous peoples and why it should be important to you.