Jill Doerfler is currently an Associate Professor and Department Head of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She holds a PHD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. Jill’s primary area of scholarly interest is American Indian identity with a focus on Anishinaabe citizenship. As a first-degree descendant growing up on the White Earth reservation, she was all too familiar with the divisions that the use of blood quantum as the sole requirement for tribal citizenship caused. She was involved in constitutional reform efforts with the White Earth Nation from 2007-2015. She wrote more than forty articles for the Anishinaabeg Today on topics related to her research and the reform effort, and served as a member of the Constitution Writing Team. In addition, she developed constitutional educational materials, co-facilitated more than fifty community education forms, and assisted in the creation a special issue of the Anishinaabeg Today devoted to the constitution. Jill has long been committed to interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches in both research and pedagogy. Her research is premised on a commitment to this approach, intersecting the fields of Indigenous governance, history, and literature. This research has reaffirmed her belief that scholarship can respond to and grow out of the precise needs of Native peoples, communities, and nations. Her publications grow out of this community-based research. In 2012, she coauthored The White Earth Nation: Ratification of a Native Democratic Constitution with Gerald Vizenor and, in 2013, she co-edited Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories with Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark. In Those Who Belong: Identity, Family, Blood, and Citizenship among the White Earth Anishinaabeg (2015) she examines staunch Anishinaabe resistance to racialization and the complex issues surrounding tribal citizenship and identity. She is currently engaged a community education and empowerment project, Zaagibagaang. As a part of the project she assisted with the development and creation of more than ten short videos as well as a website: zaagibagaang.com.
Candidate Statement: I am honored to be nominated and to stand for election to NAISA Council. I have participated in NAISA from the first meeting in Oklahoma. The connections forged at these meetings have been vital to my scholarly journey. NAISA is an important community which creates space for critical conversations and interdisciplinary engagement, which strengthens our work and propels our field(s) further. I have found the interdisciplinary nature of the meetings to be critical and will actively work to further include those areas that have been under represented. I believe that my community-engaged research experience and my organizing work will be assets. At the University of Minnesota-Duluth, I have served on a wide array of committees. I have served as Department Head of American Indian Studies since 2014 and chair of the College of Liberal Arts Department Heads, Directors, and Administrators group since 2016. In addition, I currently serve on the board of the Institute for Advanced Study. I will work to ensure that NAISA continues to grow and thrive as an organization that supports the innovative and important work that both serves Native nations as well as the academy.