The Great Vanishing Act: Blood Quantum and the Future of Native Nations


“This extraordinary, wildly informative book provides deep insight to the challenges Native America faces with blood quantum. The book could very well inspire Native America to consciously and deeply rethink how our tribes have been delineated by blood quantum policy and its pure intent to extinguish our people.” —Richard Luarkie, CEO, Emerging Equities Solutions Group, Former Governor for Pueblo of Laguna

“The Great Vanishing Act provides incisive criticism and warning regarding colonially inspired and federally promulgated modes of American Indian assimilation and annihilation – most notable the Anglo-American racial notion of blood quantum.” —Gabriel S. Galanda, Galanda Broadman, PLLC

To learn more about The Great Vanishing Act book, or to purchase a copy, please visit the Fulcrum Books website here. Thank you for supporting independent publishers and authors!

SOCIAL SCIENCE 350 Pages, 6 x 9 Formats: Paperback, Mobipocket, ebook: EPUB, ebook: PDF Paperback, $21.95 (US $21.95) (CA $26.95) Publication Date: August 2017 ISBN 9781682750650 eBook Editions Available

About the Editors

Kathleen Ratteree

Kathleen is a non-Native ally who has been working with and alongside Native communities for over 10 years. Kathleen worked with the Oneida Nation Trust and Enrollment Committee as Project Manager for Sustain Oneida. In this role she helped facilitate constructive community dialogue on tribal enrollment criteria. In collaboration with Sustain Oneida she wrote a series of articles for the Oneida tribal newspaper, The Kalihwisaks, on identity, citizenship, blood quantum, demographics, sovereignty, and tribal governance. The articles have stimulated effective dialogue and raised awareness about enrollment issues and population trends faced by the Oneida, and many other tribes across Turtle Island. Kathleen completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder at the same time Norbert was working there, although neither of them knew it at the time. Kathleen holds a Master of Science in medical anthropology, a Master of Public Health and a certificate of Global Health from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. While there, Kathleen conducted a study of a culturally-competent patient navigation program at the Rapid City Regional Hospital in South Dakota. She also student taught courses in American Indian Studies and Anthropology at Madison. She has worked as a program evaluator for the Menominee Nation at the Maehnowesekiyah Wellness Center and has served on the Wisconsin Historical Society Foundation board and the Neville Public Museum Foundation board in Green Bay. Kathleen holds a Master of Science in medical anthropology, a Master of Public Health, and a certificate of Global Health from the University of Madison-Wisconsin. She is working on her doctorate in First Nations in Education at The University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Her dissertation project is rooted Traditional Ecological Knowledges (TEK), the Three Sisters, sustainable agriculture and environmental justice. She lives near Green Bay with her husband and two young children, and a variety of goats and chickens on the original homelands of the Ho-Chunk and Menominee Nations.

Norbert Hill, Jr.

Norbert S. Hill is an enrolled citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and has recently retired as Area Director of Education and Training for the Nation. Hill’s previous appointment was Vice President of the College of Menominee Nation for their Green Bay campus. Hill served as the executive director of the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) in New Mexico, a nonprofit organization providing funding for American Indians and Alaska Natives to pursue graduate and professional degrees. Previous positions include: the executive director of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, assistant dean of students at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and director of the American Indian Educational Opportunity Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He founded Winds of Change and The American Indian Graduate, magazine, publications of AISES and AIGC respectively. Hill holds two honorary doctorates from Clarkson University (1996) and Cumberland College (1994). In 1989, Norbert was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.He resides on the Oneida reservation with his wife.

About the Contributors

Martha Berry (Cherokee Nation) creates beadwork in the early 19th century Cherokee style, using period authentic materials. She began studying and creating authentic, traditional Cherokee beadwork in the 1980s.  At that time there were no classes, no how-to kits, and no books on the subject.  She taught herself the art form by studying both real historic artifacts and photographs of them.  Berry creates bandolier bags, ceremonial sashes, belts, purses and moccasins. To the extent possible, she uses materials, techniques, styles and designs period authentic to the early 19th century. She has won many awards in art shows and contests, has lectured in major cities across the United States, and has work in collections all over the U.S. and in Europe.  In August of 2013, the Cherokee Nation designated Berry a Cherokee National Living Treasure for her work in preserving and perpetuating the art of traditional Cherokee beadwork. She is also a 2015 recipient of the Cherokee National Historical Society’s SevenStar Award. She now divides her time between research, creating beadwork, and teaching others this exquisite and intricate art form. Berry resides in Texas with her husband who is a retired journalist and photographer.

Reed Adair Bobroff  (Navajo Nation) is a poet, playwright, and performer from Albuquerque, NM. As a poet, he has published work in The Breakbeat Poets anthology, Indian Country eHBO.  As a playwright, his work has been showcased at the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers Annual Gathering, the University of New Mexico, and in the Yale Young Native Storytellers Festival.He graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Theater Studies and is currently researching how creative writing can be used in therapy in indigenous communities. 

Robert Chanate (Kiowa Nation) is from Carnegie, Oklahoma, but currently resides in Denver, Colorado. Robert works for the Woodbine Ecology Center and writes occasional columns for various publications. Robert is an adviser for the Native Youth Leadership Alliance and volunteers for other Tribal & Native Organizations. He is also a direct action trainer for the Indigenous Peoples Power Project (IP3) and in that role he has been fortunate to travel to numerous Indigenous Homelands in North America and support their work in defending their territories. Robert strives to be a good relative, friend and ally as he was taught by his family.

Julia Coates (Cherokee Nation) was born in Pryor, Oklahoma and raised in northern California, she holds BAs in Anthropology and English from San Francisco State University, and a PhD in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. She has worked for Native American non-profits, tribal governments, and non-governmental organizations. Dr. Coates was the Project Director for the award-wining Cherokee Nation History Course, an initiative of the Cherokee Nation, and served on its Tribal Council for two terms representing the Cherokee citizens who reside outside the Nation’s jurisdictional boundary. She has been an assistant professor of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis, and a visiting professor of Cherokee Cultural Studies at Northeastern State University in the Cherokee Nation. Most recently, she has worked on research, grant writing, and conference production for the American Indian Studies Center at UCLA, and is in the process of creating a certificate program with UCLA Extension in conjunction with the Cherokee PINS Project: Education and Engagement for Sovereignty, a non-profit that she co-founded dedicated to building civic engagement within Cherokee communities and bridging the gaps between the Cherokees within and outside the tribal boundary.

Stephen Cornell is a retired Professor of Sociology and Faculty Chair of the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and co-founder, with Joseph P. Kalt, of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. With a PhD from the University of Chicago, he taught at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, before joining the Arizona faculty in 1998. He has spent much of the last thirty years working with Indigenous nations in North America, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand on self-determination, governance, and development issues. For seventeen years he served as director of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona, where he led the development of the Native Nations Institute.

Terry L. Cross, PhD, MSW, LCSW, ACSW   (Seneca Nation) is the founder of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, an organization he now serves as senior advisor. Mr. Cross is the author and co-author of numerous books, including Positive Indian Parenting, Cross-Cultural Skills in Indian Child Welfare, and Reclaiming Customary Adoption. He also is the author of Heritage and Helping, an 11 manual curriculum for tribal child welfare staff. He served as a member of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Advisory Council from 2008-2012, received the Civic Engagement Award for Excellence in Community Based Research from Portland State University in 2009, was a finalist for the EcoTrust Indigenous Leadership Award in 2010, and received the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps “Embracing the Legacy” award in 2011. Mr. Cross has more than 43 years of experience in child welfare, including 10 years working directly with children and families. He a visiting professor at Portland State University School of Social Work, and serves on the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

Jill Doerfler (White Earth Anishinaabe) is an associate professor and the department head of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Her primary area of scholarly interest is American Indian, specifically Anishinaabe, identity with a political focus on citizenship. Her research is premised on a strong commitment to bridging scholarly efforts with the practical needs of American Indian peoples, communities, and nations. She has been involved in constitutional reform efforts with the White Earth Nation since 2007. In 2012, she coauthored The White Earth Nation: Ratification of a Native Democratic Constitution with world-renowned Anishinaabe scholar Gerald Vizenor and, in 2013, she co-edited Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories with Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark. Jill’s most recent book, Those Who Belong: Identity, Family, Blood, and Citizenship Among the White Earth Anishinaabeg (2015), examines staunch Anishinaabe resistance to racialization and the complex issues surrounding tribal citizenship and identity.

Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw Nation) is a metalsmith/jeweler and owner of Kristen Dorsey Designs, LLC a fine jewelry company based in Los Angeles, California.  Dorsey looks to her cultural heritage to inform her jewelry designs.  Dorsey honed her craft at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA while earning a degree in American studies, concentrating in Native American studies at Tufts University.  Dorsey’s academic and artistic interests converge in her jewelry.  The materials and techniques she uses reflect Dorsey’s research and passion for the history of Native American southeastern adornment.  As a result, her work presents unique historical and cultural perspectives.  She is also noted for her work in the traditional southeastern technique of creating relief work from flat sheet metal, commonly known by the French name repoussé. According to Dorsey, “working with these materials and imagery connects me to my ancestors.  I firmly believe that culture is never lost, but rather forgotten, and creating art is a way to remember.”  Her work has been exhibited at Museums nationwide including the Heard Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Chickasaw Cultural Center, The Portland Art Museum, the Philbrook Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Sam English (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) is a distinguished contemporary Indian artist. Sam has donated his artistic talents to scores of Indian service organizations for their conferences on domestic violence, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and wellness. The list continues to grow. He also takes time to talk to groups concerning positive self-esteem and escaping the clutches of alcoholism. Sam believes that art is the foundation of language. He says, “You can use an art experience to launch a thought.” He has used his images to inspire spirituality, family and community. He makes his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico and has his studio/gallery in Old Town Albuquerque.

Suzan Shown Harjo  (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee Nations), is a Cheyenne citizen of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes and Wind Clan of the Nuyakv Grounds. A writer, curator and advocate, she has helped Native Peoples recover more than one million acres of land and attain laws in six decades to promote and protect Native nations, sovereignty, children, arts, cultures, lands, waters, languages, religious freedom, repatriation and sacred places, and to eliminate “Native” sports stereotypes. Morning Star Institute President and Indian Country Today Media Network Columnist, she is Guest Curator and Editor of the National Museum of the American Indian exhibition (2014-2018) and book (Smithsonian/NMAI Press 2014), both titled, Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations. A Founding NMAI Trustee, she began work in 1967 that led to NMAI, repatriation laws and museum reform.

President Obama presented Dr. Harjo with a 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor. The National Women’s History Project selected her as a 2016 National Women’s History Month Honoree. In 2015, NCORE (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity) in American Higher Education established the annual Suzan Shown Harjo Activist for Systemic Social Justice Award. She was honored with the 2015 Native Leadership Award by the National Congress of American Indians, which she served as Executive Director during the 1980s. She also served as Legislative Liaison, Native American Rights Fund, and as Special Assistant–Indian Legislation & Liaison, Carter Administration, and Principal Author, President’s Report to Congress on American Indian Religious Freedom (1979). The first Vine Deloria, Jr. Distinguished Indigenous Scholar (University of Arizona, 2008), she also was the first Native woman to receive the Montgomery Fellowship (Dartmouth College, 1992); the first person awarded unprecedented back-to-back fellowships, as a 2004 School of Advanced Research Scholar and Poetry Fellow; and the first woman awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities (2011) by the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Debra Harry  (Kooyooe Dukaddo) from Pyramid Lake, Nevada, is the executive director of the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism (IPCB), and the Emerging Indigenous Leaders Institute (EILI).  Dr. Debra Harry’s research analyzes the linkages between biotechnology, intellectual property and globalization in relation to Indigenous Peoples’ rights. She currently serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno, and also teaches on-line courses for UNR, UCLA’s Tribal Learning Community and Educational Exchange Program, and UC-Denver’s Department for Political Science.

Richard W. Hill (Beaver Clan of the Tuscarora Nation of the Haudenosaunee at Grand River) holds a Master’s Degree in American Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo. He is the former Assistant Director for Public Programs, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution; Museum Director, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM; and was Assistant Professor, Native American Studies, SUNY Buffalo. He currently teaches and conducts historical research at Six Nations Polytechnic, Ohsweken, ON.

Olivia Hoeft  (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin) grew up on her tribe’s reservation in Oneida, Wisconsin. She is Turtle clan. Olivia left for her sophomore year of high school to attend St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island and experienced first-hand the irony of being Native American in the modern boarding school system. She spent her junior year of high school in Zaragoza, Spain where she lived with a host family and studied with the School Year Abroad (SYA) program. Olivia graduated from Stanford University in 2015, where she spent a quarter studying in Paris and was involved in a number of communities on campus. During her senior year, she worked as a Diversity Outreach Associate for Stanford’s Office of Undergraduate Admission and as a liaison for the Native American community on campus. Olivia was crowned Miss Oneida 2014-2015, through the Oneida Nation Royalty Program, through which she acted as a public figure in Oneida and neighboring communities during public events. Olivia currently works at Google and resides in Mountain View, California.

Miriam Jorgensen is Research Director of the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona, Research Director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. She specializes in Indigenous governance and economic development, with a particular focus on the ways communities’ governance arrangements and socio-cultural characteristics affect development. Her work—in the U.S., Canada, and Australia—has addressed issues as wide-ranging as welfare policy, policing and justice systems, natural resources, cultural stewardship, enterprise management, financial education, and philanthropy. She is a co-author of Structuring Sovereignty: Constitutions of Native Nations (UCLA AIS Press, 2014) and The State of the Native Nations: Conditions under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination (OUP, 2008); editor and co-author of Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development (UA Press, 2007); and a member of the editorial boards of the International Indigenous Policy Journal and British Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. Jorgensen co-founded the Indigenous Governance graduate education programs at the University of Arizona and teaches Indigenous community development at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her BA in economics from Swarthmore College, MA in human sciences from the University of Oxford, and MPP and PhD from Harvard University.

Joseph P. Kalt is the Ford Foundation Professor (Emeritus) of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  In 1987, Professor Kalt founded (with Stephen Cornell) the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.  He is a principal author of The State of the Native Nations:  Conditions under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination (with the Harvard Project), co-editor and a primary author of What Can Tribes Do? Strategies and Institutions in the Economic Development of American Indian Reservations (with Stephen Cornell), and a principal author of Rebuilding Native Nations:  Strategies for Governance and Development.  In 2005, Professor Kalt received the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s First American Leadership Award.  In 2010, he and Professor Cornell received the National Congress of American Indians’ award for Public Sector Leadership.  Professor Kalt is chairman of the Board of Directors of the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s Fort Apache Heritage Foundation, a member of the Navajo Nation Council of Economic Advisors, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Chickasaw Nation’s Community Development Enterprise. 

Sarah Kastelic  is executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), the leading Indian child welfare advocacy and research organization in the United States. Kastelic is only the second executive director of the 30-year-old organization, succeeding founding director Terry Cross in this role. Previously, Dr. Kastelic spent four years as NICWA’s deputy director, assuming increasing responsibility of operations and management. Prior to joining NICWA, Dr. Kastelic led the National Congress of American Indians’s (NCAI) welfare reform program and was the founding director of NCAI’s Policy Research Center. In November 2014, national leadership network Independent Sector awarded Dr. Kastelic its American Express NGen Leadership Award, calling her “a transformational leader working to further policy research that empowers American Indian and Alaska Native communities.” Dr. Kastelic is Alutiiq, an enrolled member of the Native Village of Ouzinkie. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College, she earned a master’s degree and PhD from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

Adrienne Keene  (Cherokee Nation) is an assistant professor in the department of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University. Her research focuses on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students navigating the college application and transition processes, as well as the role of pre-college access programs in student success. Through her blog Native Appropriations, she also is deeply interested in representations of Native peoples in the media and pop culture, including issues of cultural appropriation, and how Indigenous peoples use social media for activism and speaking out against misrepresentation.

Doug Kiel  (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and studies American Indian history and nation rebuilding, federal Indian law and policy, settler colonialism in the Midwest, and race relations. He is working on a book manuscript entitled Unsettling Territory: Oneida Indian Resurgence and Anti-Sovereignty Backlash. His recent publications include a special issue of the Middle West Review (co-edited with James F. Brooks), entitled “Indigenous Midwests.” Before joining Northwestern in 2016, Kiel taught at Williams College, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Middlebury College. Kiel has received grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the School for Advanced Research, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, the American Historical Association, and American Philosophical Society, among others.

Jessica Kolopenuk (Iyiniw) is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. On her mother’s side, she descends from Chief Peguis’ people (who are Cree and Anishinabe) from the Red River region north of Winnipeg, Manitoba: the city whose name bears the characteristic of the mighty muddy rivers whose forks have brought peoples together for as long back as they have been peoples. With training in political theory and indigenous politics, Ms. Kolopenuk is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria located on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territory in British Columbia, Canada. Jessica is interested in understanding the spaces where science and politics intersect especially when they interfere with indigenous peoples’ relationships to each other, to territory, and to other human and non-human relatives. Her dissertation explores the power generated through science to impose meaning onto the everyday lives of indigenous people whether it be through racialized configurations of blood quantum, genetic testing of Native American DNA, or a new wave of large scale telescope construction that is reordering indigenous and non-indigenous relationships to space – earthly and otherwise. Jessica’s work is committed to interrogating contemporary global relations of power that are being increasingly driven by flows of technology and discourses of science.

Leslie Logan (Seneca) is a freelance writer and public relations consultant.  She has contributed writings to Indian Country Today, the National Museum of the American Indian’s publication, American Indian and was managing editor of the award-winning magazine Native Americas.  She resides on the Cattaraugus Territory in Western New York with her two a freelance writer and public relations consultant.  She has contributed writings to Indian Country Today, the National Museum of the American Indian’s publication, American Indian and was managing editor of the award-winning magazine Native Americas.  She resides on the Cattaraugus Territory in Western New York with her two children.

Henrietta Mann, Ph.D Tsetsehestaestse (Cheyenne), was the first individual to occupy the Katz Endowed Chair in Native American Studies at MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY, BOZEMAN, where she is Professor Emerita.  She is the founding President of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College, and is now President Emerita.   In 1991, Rolling Stone Magazine named Dr. Mann as one of the ten leading professors in the nation.  In 2008 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Indian Education Association.  The College Board, Native American Student Advocacy Institute (NASAI) presented her with its first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, and has since created the Dr. Henrietta Mann Leadership Award to acknowledge and thank leaders for their advocacy in improving lives within native communities.  In 2014 MONEY Magazine named her a MONEY Hero Award Winner, one of 50 Unsung Heroes/50 States, conferred for her extraordinary work with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College in improving the financial well-being of others.  In 2016  Dr. Mann and Dr. K. T. Lomawaima became the first two Native American educational scholars ever to be elected to membership in the National Academy of Education.   

Yuka Mizutani  is an associate professor of Center for Global Discovery at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. She is a Japanese cultural anthropologist mainly focusing on contemporary North American indigenous issues. From 2006 to 2009, she conducted her research as visiting research student in University of California at Berkeley, and she received her Ph.D. in Area Studies from Sophia University in 2009. Her research interests include political issues of indigenous people on the U.S.-Mexico borderland, relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people, issues surrounding indigenous people and museum, interpretation and use of western concepts and technologies by indigenous communities, also comparative indigenous studies. She actively writes and presents both in Japanese and English. Her book about history of the Yaquis in the U.S. southwest entitled Senjumin Pascua Yaqui no Beikoku Hennyu (Integration of the Pascua Yaqui into the United States, Hokkaido University Press, 2012) won a prize from the Japan Consortium for Area Studies in 2012.

Richard Monette  is Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa (a peoples) and, at the time of this writing, a citizen of Turtle Mountain (a place).  Richard is Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  He has served as Chairman, in-house General Counsel, and Special Judge for Turtle Mountain.  Richard has also served short stints as staff attorney for the U.S Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and as Director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs for Indian Affairs in the US Department of the Interior.  

Leonie Pihama (Iwi: Te Ātiawa, Ngā Māhanga a Tairi, Ngāti Māhanga), is a mother of six and a grandmother of three. Leonie is Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato, and Director of Māori and Indigenous Analysis Ltd, a Kaupapa Māori research company. She has worked as an Associate Professor in Education at the University of Auckland and was Director of the Interational Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education (IRI). Leonie is a leading kaupapa Māori educator and researcher. Leonie was recipient of the Hohua Tūtengaehe Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship (Health Research Council), and was the inaugural Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award (2011) at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington. Leonie was Principal Investigator on the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga research project ‘Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke: Māori childrearing within a context of whānau ora.  This project has made significant impact in regards to making available a depth of traditional knowledge to those working in Early Childhood Education, Maori Education and Maori Providers working in Whānau Ora contexts. Leonie is also a member of the research advisory oversight group for the ‘Te Kura Mai I Tawhiti: He Piki Raukura – Health and Wellbeing through the lifecourse: Whānau early invention’ project alongside Te Kopae Piripono (Taranaki) who are one of the Early Childhood Centres of Innovation.   She has served on the Māori Health Committee for the Health Research council and on a number of key boards including Māori Television and Te Māngai Pāho. Leonie has extensive expertise connecting her to a wide-range of communities and iwi, which enables her to relate to people throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.  Recently Leonie was named recipient of the Inaugural Health Research Council (HRC) ‘Ngā Pou Senior Research Fellowship’. She also awarded the 2015 New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) ‘Te Tohu Pae Tāwhiti Award’ for excellence in Maori Educational Research.

Gyasi Ross (Blackfeet Nation), is an author, speaker and storyteller. Gyasi resides on the Port Madison Indian Reservation near Seattle. TV and radio programs and print and online publications regularly seek his input on politics, sports, pop culture and the intersections thereof with Native life. Ross is the author of Don’t Know Much About Indians (but I wrote a book about us anyways) (2011) and How to Say I Love You in Indian (2014). “I come from a family of storytellers. My family tells long stories, drinking coffee and blowing smoke in your face. It just fit for me to tell stories, and then I started writing them.” He is in demand as a speaker on race, social justice and white privilege as well as issues specifically affecting contemporary Native Americans and guests on MSNBC, ESPN, Democracy Now and radio shows nationwide. Ross writes for the Huffington Post, Indian Country Today, Deadspin and Gawker. Ross has also released a spoken word/hip hop CD titled “Isskootsik (Before Here was Here)” on Cabin Games Records.

You can follow Gyasi Ross on Facebook at on Twitter at and on Instagram at

Adrian (Addie) T. Smith is Childhood Dependency Task Force Administrator for the state of Oregon. Previously, Smith served as staff attorney for Government Affairs at the National Indian Child Welfare Association based in Portland; in that role, she was responsible for analyzing and responding to national legislative and administrative child welfare and children’s mental health policies that affected Native children, families, and communities. Her previous experience includes work as a juvenile probation officer and as a social worker at a child welfare legal clinic. Smith earned both a JD (magna cum laude) and Master’s of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and a BA from Boston College.

Kim TallBear, author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (2013), is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. She studies the racial politics of “gene talk” in science and popular culture. A former environmental planner, she has become interested in the similarities between Western constructions of nature and sexuality as they are defined and sanctioned historically by those in power (i.e. the church, scientists, and heterosexual men). TallBear is interested in how sex and nature can be understood differently in indigenous worldviews. She draws on indigenous, feminist, and queer theory in her teaching and research that focus on undermining the nature/culture split in Western society and its role in colonialism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and environmental degradation. Kim TallBear blogs about these topics and more at You can find her on Twitter @KimTallBear. She is a tribal citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota and is also descended from the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

Dr. Maile Taualii received her PhD in Health Services, with an emphasis in Public Health Informatics and Public Health Genetics from the University of Washington, where she also completed her Master’s degree in Public Health. A primary research focus for Dr. Taualii is the utility and validity of health information for racial minorities. Her current research is related to perceptions of bio-banking for research among Native Hawaiians. Dr. Taualii is an Assistant Professor of Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health at the University of Hawaii where she brings cultural, ethical, and community-oriented perspectives to the instruction of public health. In 2016, Dr. Taualii was awarded the University of Hawaii, Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Taualii’s federal commitments include serving as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations, US Census Bureau.

Russell Thornton is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UCLA. Born and raised in Oklahoma, he is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and former chair of the Nation’s Sequoyah Commission.  He is former chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s Native American Repatriation Review Committee, a U.S. congressionally–mandated committee to monitor repatriation at the Smithsonian. His scholarly interests include American Indian demography and epidemiology, American Indian revitalization movements, American Indian studies, American Indian winter counts and contemporary American Indian issues, especially repatriation, education and identity.  He has lectured widely in the United States and other countries on various topics related to American Indians. He is the author, editor or co-editor of six books, including American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History since 1492 (1987). He has also authored more than 100 papers, many appearing in such major scholarly journals as American Anthropologist, Current Anthropology, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, American Studies, Ethnohistory and Population Research and Policy Review.

Kathryn Harris Tijerina (Comanche Nation), was born and raised in Comanche country. She earned her BA from Harvard, Magna cum Laude, and her Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School. She is a member of the DC Bar. Formerly, President of the Institute of American Indian Art (a national Fine Art College), Kathryn worked on the Indian Policy Review Commission, and the US Senate Indian Affairs Committee. She directed the Indian Resource Development Program (IRD) for the State of New Mexico’s universities. She served as the First Leader of the Comanche Nation College Council. She worked for two Chief Justices of the NM Supreme Court; was Deputy Secretary of the New Mexico Natural Resources Department; served as Director for Cultural and Recreational Services for Albuquerque NM; and was the Executive Director of the Railyard Stewards. Currently, she is the Chair of the Native Fund of the Santa Fe Community Foundation, member of the Santa Fe Indian Center; Executive Committee of the LANL Foundation, member of the Board of Trustees for Southwestern College, and a National Advisor for AIO’s Ambassador Program. Kathryn is married to Manuel Tijerina.

Marty TwoBulls, Sr. is a graphic designer, teacher, artist, silver smith, sculptor and editorial cartoonist. He has been drawing and writing editorial cartoons most of his 34-year career. It all started with the desire to make his uncles laugh. As a young child his uncles would make cartoons of each other the simple drawings would make them laugh out loud. Marty was mesmerized by the power of the drawings and subconsciously formed a deep respect for the medium. Marty was first published in his high school newspaper, but he had always though of it as a hobby, concentrating more on his artistic studies. After college he became a graphic designer working in various commercial printers until working for daily newspapers where he spent most of his 33-year career. For the last sixteen years he has been producing a weekly editorial cartoon for the news publication Indian Country Today. An amazing feat for an artist who still considers it a hobby. “I love to draw cartoons,” Marty said recently. “To call it work would under value the way I feel about it”. “After all,” he said, “All I ever wanted to do was make my uncles laugh.”

Kanyʌhtakelu Rebecca M. Webster (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin)  is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth in their American Indian Studies Department. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in their Tribal Administration and Governance programs. Prior to joining the American Indian Studies team at Duluth, she served the Oneida Nation as an attorney for 13 years where she provided legal advice for the Nation’s administration on government relations, jurisdiction concerns, and a wide variety of tribal land issues. Her research interests focus on advocating for tribal sovereignty while also exploring ways for tribes to improve cooperative relationships with neighboring governments. She received her B.A., M.P.A., and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University.

David E. Wilkins (Lumbee Nation) holds the McKnight Presidential Professorship in American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. He has adjunct appointments in Political Science, Law, and American Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill in December, 1990.  He is the author or editor of a number of books, including Dismembered: Native Disenrollment and the Battle for Basic Human Rights (with Shelly Hulse Wilkins, 2017); Hollow Justice: Indigenous Claims Against the U.S. (2013); The Navajo Political Experience, 4th ed. (2013); The Hank Adams Reader (2011), The Legal Universe (with Vine Deloria, Jr., 2011), and Documents of Native American Political Development: 1533 to 1933 (2009). His articles have appeared in a range of social science, law, history, and ethnic studies journals.

Shelly Hulse Wilkins is a senior legislative analyst with nearly twenty years of state and national experience in tribal-state relations.  Much of her work has focused on the challenges faced by Native state legislators as they contend with their duties as both tribal citizens and elected officials. Most recently, she has written on the topic of the disenrollment of tribal citizens, co-authoring a book published by the University of Washington Press in 2017.

Follow Kathleen’s personal blog, Wild Bean

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