NAISA Council

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association is governed by a constitution and bylaws. The first election of association officers took place in the spring of 2009. Current officers and Councilors are listed below, followed by former officers and Councilors. The Council meets twice a year face-to-face and meets electronically on a monthly basis for the other ten months of the year.


OFFICERS – 2023-2024



VICENTE M. DIAZ (Pohnpeian/Filipino from Guam), University of Minnesota
Vicente Diaz, PhD, is an interdisciplinary historian and ethnographer, with BA and MA degrees in Political Science from the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa, and a PhD in History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He taught Pacific History and Micronesian Studies at the University of Guam from 1991 to 2001, after which he joined the (now) Dept of American Culture at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. In 2012, he moved to American Indian Studies departments, first at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, then in 2016, at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he currently chairs the department.

Dr. Diaz is of a generation of Islanders who transformed Pacific Islands studies from its Orientalist roots in Area Studies to one centered on Indigenous political, cultural, and intellectual determinations. This generation of Pacific Islander scholars customized interdisciplinary inquiry (anti-disciplinary, when needed) by analyzing the forms and contents of cultural and historical studies with those of Pacific Indigeneity. In Dr. Diaz’s case, he produced academic and public history books, articles, and other media on topics ranging from Indigenous Christianity, political and military histories of Guam, Indigenous sports and masculinity, and politics and poetics of cultural revitalization, notably around traditional outrigger canoe culture and long distance oceanic voyaging, of which he is also a cultural practitioner. The throughline across these topics is the indispensability of Indigeneity – the historical and political claims and conditions of aboriginal belonging, kinship, and reciprocal relationality to place and its other-than-human relatives, best expressed and understood through the Indigenous vernaculars that have proper standing. Here, Indigeneity is both an ontological as well as analytic category.

Moving to Turtle Island did not mean abandoning the Native Pacific, far from it. Rather, it blessed Dr. Diaz with additional materiality to help further expand (and contract, when Indigenous specificity is elided) the institutional and intellectual fields of work and play, centering, for example, Indigeneity’s imperative in emergent forms of critical ethnic studies and transnational American studies, while also customizing critical theory and method in and through the study and application of Indigenous form, content, scope, scale, and modality. Doing Native Pacific Studies in American Indian Studies departments in the U.S. Midwest in particular has allowed Dr. Diaz and his colleagues to imagine and develop forms of global and comparative Native Studies, help grow NAISA, and bridge commitments and accountabilities to local, tribal determinations by juxtaposing their study with analogous Indigenous resurgence from elsewhere.

Dr. Diaz has prior service to NAISA, sitting as an elected Council member from 2010-2013, the highlight of which for him, was co-chairing the committee that researched, developed, and launched the organization’s flagship journal, NAIS. He later served as an editorial board member.

MALINDA MAYNOR LOWERY (Lumbee), Emory University
Malinda Maynor Lowery is a historian and documentary film producer who is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. In July 2021 she joined Emory University as the Cahoon Family Professor of American History, after spending 12 years at UNC-Chapel Hill and 4 years at Harvard University. Her second book, The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle, was published by UNC Press in 2018. The book is a survey of Lumbee history from the eighteenth century to the present, written for a general audience. Her first book, Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation (UNC Press, 2010). It won several awards, including Best First Book of 2010 in Native American and Indigenous Studies.

She has written over twenty book chapters or articles, on topics including American Indian migration and identity, school desegregation, federal recognition, religious music, and foodways, and has published essays for popular audiences in places like the New York Times, Oxford American, and Daily Yonder. She has won fellowships and grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sundance Institute, the Ford Foundation, and others.

Films she has produced include the Peabody Award-winning A Chef’s Life (PBS, 2013-2018), Somewhere South (PBS, 2020), Road to Race Day (Crackle, 2020), the Emmy-nominated Private Violence (HBO, 2014), In the Light of Reverence (PBS, 2001), and two short films, Real Indian (1996), and Sounds of Faith (1997), both of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her current projects include essays on the shared history of Black and Indigenous Americans and a media experience on humor and racial stereotypes with the Smithsonian Institution.

-from the Emory University website



KEVIN BRUYNEEL, Babson College

Kevin Bruyneel, PhD, is a Professor of Politics at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. His book, Settler Memory: The Disavowal of Indigeneity and the Politics of Race in the United States, was published in the Critical Indigeneities Series of the University of North Carolina Press in 2021. He presently writes on the relationship between race, colonialism, collective memory, and racial capitalism. He has published articles in History & Memory, Settler Colonial Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies Journal, and The Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy. His first book was The Third Space of Sovereignty: The Postcolonial Politics of U.S.-Indigenous Relations (2007).


Professor Bruyneel is of settler ancestry, born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. At Babson College, Bruyneel teaches courses in Political Theory, American Politics, Critical Race Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Radical Politics.

– from the Babson College website



FARINA KING (Diné), University of Oklahoma 
Bilagáanaa niliigo’ dóó Kinyaa’áanii yásh’chíín. Bilagáanaa dabicheii dóó Tsinaajinii dabinálí. Ákót’éego diné asdzáá nilí. Dr. Farina King is Bilagáanaa (white American of English and Northwestern European descent), born for Kinyaa’áanii (the Towering House Clan) of the Diné (Navajo). Her mother is white American from Michigan, and her father is Navajo from the Rehoboth, New Mexico checkerboard region of Diné Bikéyah (Navajo land). Her maternal grandfather was white American, and her paternal grandfather was Tsinaajinii (Black-streaked Woods People Clan) of the Diné. She is a citizen of the Navajo Nation. King was born in Tó Naneesdizí (Tuba City) and lived in the Navajo Nation as a small child, until her family moved to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area where her father worked for the Indian Health Service.

King is the Horizon Chair in Native American Ecology and Culture and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma (OU), homelands of the Hasinais, or Caddo Nation, and Kirikirʔi:s, or Wichita & Affiliated Tribes. Between 2023 and 2024, she is serving as the interim department chair of Native American Studies at OU. Previously, between 2016 and 2022, she was an associate professor of History at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, in the homelands of the Cherokee Nation and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees. She was also an affiliate of the Cherokee and Indigenous Studies Department and the Director of the NSU Center for Indigenous Community Engagement. She is a past president of the Southwest Oral History Association (2021-2022).


Her primary area of research is colonial and post-colonial Indigenous studies, mainly Indigenous experiences in colonizing forms of education, such as at federal American Indian boarding schools. Her research traces the changes in Diné educational experiences through the twentieth century, using a hybrid approach of the Diné Sacred Four Directions. She has facilitated oral histories with Diné boarding school survivors, involving former students of the Intermountain Indian School, Crownpoint Indian Boarding School, Tuba City Boarding School, Leupp Boarding School, and Kayenta Boarding School.


She is the author of The Earth Memory Compass: Diné Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century; co-author with Michael P. Taylor and James R. Swensen of Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School; and author of Diné dóó Gáamalii: Navajo Latter-day Saint Experiences in the Twentieth Century. She is one of the series editors for the Lyda Conley Series on Trailblazing Indigenous Futures of the University Press of Kansas, and she co-hosts the Native Circles podcast with Sarah Newcomb, Davina Two Bears, and Eva Bighorse.






KARYN RECOLLET (Cree), University of Toronto
Karyn Recollet, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Women & Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. As an urban Cree scholar/artist/and writer, Professor Recollet’s work focuses on relationality and care as both an analytic and technology for Indigenous movement-based forms of inquiry within urban spaces. Professor Recollet works collaboratively with Indigenous dance-makers and scholars to theorize forms of urban glyphing. Professor Recollet is in conversation with dance choreographers, Black and Indigenous futurist thinkers, and Indigenous and Black geographers as ways to theorize and activate futurist, feminist, celestial, and decolonial land-ing relationships with more-than-human kinships, and each other, and has been widely published on these subjects.

 In 2019, Professor Recollet carried out a research project titled, When Future Falls are Imminent: The moves and returns of scoop choreography of the fall, where the professor explored the meanings and experiences of choreographies of the fall embodying a set of relationships to land-ing and falling as ways of being in relation with lands, and each other. The project thought alongside Afrofuturist and Indigenous futurist activators to consider “falls” as a way of land-ing into each other in expansive and fully relational ways.

– from the University of Toronto and Toronto Biennial of Art websites




NICK ESTES (Kul Wicasa), University of Minnesota

Nick Estes (Kul Wicasa), PhD, is a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and was born-and-raised in Chamberlain, South Dakota, next to relative Mni Sose (the Missouri River). His nation is the Octet Sakowin Oyate (the Great Sioux Nation or the Nation of the Seven Council Fires). Dr. Estes holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of New Mexico, and Bachelorʻs and Masterʻs degrees in history from the University of South Dakota and has joined the faculty in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota to begin Fall of 2022. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Estes was an assistant professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico. He was an American Democracy Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University in 2017–2018.


Dr. Estes is the author of Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (Verso, 2019). He served as coeditor with Jaskiran Dhillon for the compilation Standing with Standing Rock: Voices from the #NoDAPL Movement (University of Minnesota Press, 2019), and coauthor with Melanie K. Yazzie, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, and David Correia of Red Nation Rising: From Bordertown Violence to Native Liberation (PM Press, 2021). In 2014, Estes cofounded The Red Nation, an Indigenous resistance organization, and he is cohost of The Red Nation podcast. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Intercept, Jacobin, Indian Country Today, High Country News, and other publications, and is also part of the collective for Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics. His advocacy and research focus on Indigenous resistance, anti-colonialism, abolition, decolonization, and anti-capitalism.


LIZA BLACK (Cherokee Nation) Indiana University

Liza Black is a citizen of Cherokee Nation. Black is completing her book manuscript: How to Get Away with Murder: A Transnational History of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. How to Get Away with Murder provides six case studies of a two-spirit person, five women and one girl, arguing that the current crisis is a historic reflection of settler colonial relations with Indigenous people. Black is an Associate Professor of History and Native American and Indigenous Studies at Indiana University. In 2020, Black published Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film, a deeply archival book making the argument that mid-century Native people navigated the complexities of inhabiting filmic representations of themselves as a means of survivance. Black has received several research grants over her career, including the pre-, doc and post-doc fellowships from the Ford Foundation; the Institute of American Cultures at UCLA fellowship; and the Cherokee Nation Higher Education Grant. She serves on council for both the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and the Western History Association. She is the Series Editor for New Directions in Native American Studies at University of Oklahoma Press and is creating a new course on Native people and the carceral state.


KATRINA M. PHILLIPS (Red Cliff Ojibwe), Macalester College

Katrina M. Phillips, PhD, was born and raised in northern Wisconsin as a proud citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. She holds a BA in History and a PhD in History from the University of Minnesota. She spent two years as a Consortium for Faculty Diversity fellow at Macalester College before joining the faculty, where she’s currently an associate professor of Native history and the history of the American West. 


Her first book, Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History (UNC Press, 2021), won the Theatre Library Association Book Awards 2021 George Freedley Memorial Award for an exemplary work in the field of live performance. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post’s “Made By History” section, and she’s appeared on 1A on NPR, Native America Calling, “Morning Edition,” and MPR News. She works as a historical and cultural consultant, and she’s also the author of several children’s books, including Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Traditions and Celebrations) (2022 American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award Middle Grade Honor Book), The Disastrous Wrangel Island Expedition, and Indigenous Peoples: Super SHEroes of History (Women Who Made a Difference). Her current research focuses on activism, environmentalism, and tourism on and around the Red Cliff Reservation. 

LEILANI BASHAM (Kānaka Maoli), University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Leilani Basham, PhD, is Kānaka Maoli with genealogical connections to the islands of O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. She has a multi-disciplinary background that includes Hawaiian Studies focusing on Traditional Society (BA, 1992), Hawaiian Language (Certificate, 1993), History of the Pacific Islands (MA, 2002), and Political Science (PhD, 2007), all from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Outside of the academy, Leilani also spent 15 years as a student of Hula (Hawaiian dance), graduating as a Kumu Hula, and establishing a small Hālau Hula (private academy), teaching mākua (adults) and keiki (children). She taught Hawaiian language for over 20 years at UH-Mānoa and at the UH-West Oʻahu campus, and is currently an Associate Professor at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at UH-Mānoa where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Mo‘olelo ‘Ōiwi (Native Hawaiian History and Literature) and Hālau o Laka (Creative Expression). Her research interests include mele lāhui (nationalist poetry, music) and mo‘olelo wahi pana (histories and literatures on cultural sites, places), and other topics grounded in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language) and kuana ‘ike Hawai‘i (Hawaiian knowledge and perspective).



Sheryl Lightfoot, President, 2022-2023
Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, Secretary, 2022-2023
Aileen Moreton-Robinson, President-elect, 2021-2022
Marisa Duarte, Secretary, 2019-2022
Brendan Hokowhitu, President, 2021-2022
Susan Hill, President, 2020-2021
Shannon Speed, President, 2019-2020
Tsianina Lomawaima, Treasurer, 2018-2021
Aroha Harris, President, 2018-2019
Brenda Child, President, 2017-2018
Noelani Goodyear-Ka’ōpua, Secretary, 2017-2019
Jace Weaver, President, 2016-2018
Cedric Woods, Treasurer, 2016-2018
Mark Rifkin, President, 2014-2015
David Chang, Secretary, 2012-2016
Chadwick Allen, President, 2013-2014
Tsianina Lomawaima, President, 2012-2013
Kathryn Shanley, President, 2011-2012
Jean O’Brien, President, 2010-2011
Robert Warrior, President, 2009-2010
Maggie Walter, Secretary, 2009-2012
Brendan Hokowhitu, Treasurer, 2009-2012
Bruce Duthu, Treasurer, 2012-2015


Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan (Choctaw), 2021-2022
Leonie Pihama (Māori), 2019-2022
Luis E. Cárcamo-Huechante (Mapuche), 2019-2022
Jill Doerfler (White Earth Anishinaabe), 2018-2021
Beth Piatote (Nez Perce), 2018-2021
Troy Storfjell (Sámi), 2017-2020
Chris “Caskey” Russell (Tlingit), 2017-2020
Christine “Tina” Taitano Delisle, 2016-2019
Jean Dennison, 2016-2019
Shannon Speed, 2015-2018
Renae Watchman, 2015-2018
Susan Hill, 2014-2017
Jolan Hsieh, 2014-2017
Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, 2013-2016
Leilani Basham, 2013-2016
Aileen Moreton Robinson, 2012-2015
LeAnne Howe, 2012-2015
Daniel Heath Justice, 2011-2014
Jose Antonio Lucero, 2011-2014
Kimberly Tallbear, 2010-2013
Vince Diaz, 2010-2013
Kehaulani Kauanui, 2009-2012
Noenoe Silva, 2009-2012
Alice TePunga Somerville, 2009-2011
Chris Anderson, 2009-2011
Lisa Brooks, 2009-2010
Rob Innes, 2009-2010