NAIS Fellowship

In the fall of 2021 the journal Native American & Indigenous Studies (NAIS) launched an annual Writing/Mentoring Fellowship Program.

The Fellowship seeks to support emerging scholars — such as graduate students, early career faculty, and community-based scholars — working within or across the international, interdisciplinary arenas of Indigenous studies. We particularly encourage applications from emergent Indigenous scholars, especially from communities or research areas currently underrepresented in the field. Fellows are matched with a Mentor, participate in a series of virtual professional development workshops over the academic year from September through April, and workshop a manuscript for submission to a professional academic journal (submission to NAIS is not required but is warmly encouraged).

The journal editors and Editorial Board hope to host a culminating gathering at NAISA’s annual meeting, whether virtual or in person. Fellows receive a small stipend of $600 to assist their travel to an in-person NAISA meeting.


  • The Fellowship is designed for NAISA members including community-based scholars, advanced graduate students, untenured scholars without an institutional affiliation, and pre-tenure early-career faculty working to publish in a professional academic journal.
  • Co-authors may apply – please submit one application and attach a resumé or C.V. for each co-author.
  • Authors who have previously published in NAIS are not eligible. The committee will not consider work that is under active consideration by any publisher.

The Call for Applications will appear yearly in late spring/early summer, with an approximate due date of August 1 each year.

2021-2022 Projects, Fellows, and Mentors

The Editors and Editorial Board of NAIS, the journal of Native American & Indigenous Studies, are pleased to announce the Fellows and Mentors of the inaugural year of the journal’s Writing & Mentoring Fellowship. Each of the 44 applications in a highly competitive pool was read and ranked by the two Editors and 15 members of the NAIS Editorial Board. A Committee composed of the Editors and 4 Editorial Board members then made the final award of 6 Fellowships. We are especially grateful for the Mentors’ enthusiastic willingness to participate in this important endeavor aimed at supporting early-career Indigenous Studies scholars.


Kelly McDonough & K. Tsianina Lomawaima

NAIS Editors


Project Title: “Hpecasni Unspeic’iyapi: Adult Language Acquisition at Sitting Bull College”

There is a growing need in Native communities for working-age adults who are proficient in Indigenous language. The “restoring” of this “lost generation” (Olthuis et al 2013), is, however, understudied. To address this gap in research, this article describes and examines the Hpecasni Unspeic’iyapi, an adult language learning aspect of the Lakota Language Capacity Building Initiative. In the spring of 2017 Sitting Bull College, a tribally controlled college on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation was awarded NSF Award #1664416 to implement the Lakota Language Capacity Building Initiative (LLCBI).



  • Nacole Walker (Hunkpapa Lakota and Phabaksa Dakota) Ph.D. student, Indigenous Language Revitalization, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada, and Director of the Standing Rock Language and Culture Institute;
  • Elliot Bannister Masters of Education student, Sitting Bull College, and Language Specialist, Standing Rock Language and Culture Institute;
  • Tasha Hauff, Ph.D. (Mnicoujou Lakota) Assistant Professor, Lakota and American Indian and Indigenous Studies, South Dakota State University.



  • Jani K. T. Wilson (Ngāi Taiwhakāea, Ngāti Awa, Ngā Puhi, Mātaatua), Massey University, Wellington, Aotearoa – New Zealand.

Project Title: “Kūpono Ka Lā I Ka Lolo: Kanaka Chronemics and (Re)setting Hawaiian Time”

This paper redefines “Hawaiian Time” by analyzing traditional time-related concepts from two Hawaiian stories recorded in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language) by 19th century Kanaka Maoli writer, J. W. K. Kaualilinoe. This analysis on a never-before-studied topic provides a glimpse into what I call Kanaka Chronemics or traditional Hawaiian understandings of time. How did pre-contact Kānaka track time? What natural/man-made instruments were used by Kānaka to observe time? How can we apply these traditional concepts of time to current Hawaiian language and culture revitalization efforts?



  • Jacob Hau‘oli Ikaika Poʻokela Lorenzo-Elarco (Kanaka Maoli), Master of Arts in Hawaiian Language (2021) University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.



  • Arini Loader (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Whānau-a-Apanui), Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa (known also by its colonial-settler name of New Zealand)


Project Title: Living Historiographies: McGirt v. Oklahoma, Settler Historical Production and Choctaw Archives”

This paper examines histories at multiple levels: how Choctaw “histories” have built upon oft-misguided anthropological findings, the actual events of history sourced from under-utilized sets of archival material, the history of the existing archival sources, and how those sources have been used in Choctaw historiography, and how now-canonical histories were written from a narrow subset of archival sources. By examining the gap between the existing massive archive of Choctaw-produced material and the canon of Choctaw history, I show how these narrow understandings of Choctaw history paved the way for the State of Oklahoma’s current legal arguments in McGirt v. Oklahoma.



  • Megan A. Baker (Choctaw Nation). Historic Preservation Office, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Ph.D. student in Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles.



  • Caroline Wigginton, University of Mississippi

Project Title: “Concentrated Trauma and the Reservation Effect”

Drawing from the case of the Yurok and Hoopa Valley Reservations of northern California, I show how “the reservation” is the seat of deep spiritual and personal meaning in present day, yet also is a place where social inequalities cluster, especially violence, health comorbidities and polysubstance use disorder epidemics including methamphetamine and OxyContin. Drawing from ethnographic in-depth interviews across 1,000+ exposure hours and drafted in collaboration with the Yurok Tribal Court, I theorize a “reservation effect” whereby “concentrated trauma” sits alongside the sacred such that those who seek the latter must first navigate the former.



  • Blythe K. George (Yurok Tribe) Ph.D., Sociology and Social Policy 2020 Harvard University; Assistant Professor of Sociology—UC Merced.



  • Boyd Cothran, York University

Project Title: “Indigenous Self-Identification as Settler State Elimination of Indigenous Peoples from Mestizo Territories in Latin America”

This project foregrounds understudied non-Indigenous mestizo territories like El Salvador where settlers have long-established, secured, and depoliticized their occupation and possession of Indigenous lands. Drawing on the case of El Salvador, this article will demonstrate how international discourses of Indigenous rights intersect with national ideologies of mestizaje and multiculturalism to facilitate the settler state erasure of Indigenous peoples from mestizo territories throughout Latin America.



  • Hector M. Callejas (mestizo Salvadoran-American raised in a Mexico immigrant community in Sacramento, California), Ph.D. candidate in Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley.


  • Alyosha Goldstein, University of New Mexico

Project Title: “Choosing Termination: Guy Jennison and the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma”

“Choosing Termination” demonstrates Chief Jennison’s advocacy for termination represented a deliberate rejection of the constraints and restrictions imposed by federal authority and will show how Jennison successfully engineered termination to exchange one collection of colonial entanglements for an alternative, less intrusive set of impositions that accorded the Ottawas greater control over their internal affairs and future. Taking an ethnobiographical approach, this article analyzes Jennison’s perspective and challenges the dichotomy of victimization or assimilation that dominates historiographical accounts of tribal termination.



  • David Dry (enrolled member of the Ottawa Tribe), Ph.D. candidate in History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



  • Jean M. O’Brien (White Earth Ojibwe), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities