Audra Simpson (Kahnawake Mohawk) is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. She researches and writes about Indigenous and settler society, politics and history. She is the author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Duke University Press, 2014), winner of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s Best First Book in Native American and Indigenous Studies Prize, the Laura Romero Prize from the American Studies Association as well as the Sharon Stephens Prize from the American Ethnological Society (2015). She is co-editor of Theorizing Native Studies (Duke University Press, 2014). She has articles in Postcolonial Studies, Theory & Event, Cultural Anthropology, American Quarterly, Junctures, Law and Contemporary Problems and Wicazo Sa Review. In 2010 she won Columbia University’s School for General Studies “Excellence in Teaching Award.” She is a Kahnawake Mohawk.
Chelsea Vowel is Métis from manitow-sâkahikan (Lac Ste. Anne) Alberta, currently residing in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton). Mother to six girls, she has a BEd and LLB, and is currently a graduate student and online Cree curriculum developer at the Faculty of Native studies at the University of Alberta.
Chelsea is a public intellectual, writer, and educator whose work intersects language, gender, Métis self-determination, and resurgence. She is cohost of Indigenous feminist sci-fi podcast Métis in Space, author of Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, and makes legendary bannock.
Dwaine Perry, Chief of the Ramapough-Lunaape Nation, is no stranger to the front line. From helping to integrate the first barbershop in Suffern in 1965 to serving in the Army as a member of a six man reconnaissance team, Perry is a man out front, particularly regarding human rights.
Upon returning to the US after Vietnam, Perry enrolled in RCC, where he was instrumental in establishing the College’s first student organization for people of color. He later earned a bachelor’s degree from Pace University and an MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire.
Mentoring under the honorable Conrad Lynn, Perry aided in establishing an indigenous-rights group that was to become the precursor to the reformation of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation’s modern restructuring. Chief Perry has sat with Elders and indigenous leaders in the Himalayas, The Andes and throughout North America seeking and coalescing the seeds of unity and truth remaining in the colonized mind. He continues to champion human rights today, focusing primarily on issues concerning the Ramapough Lunaape Nation and the Indigenous community at large. Chief Perry’s recent journey to Standing Rock has resulted in the establishment of the Split Rock Sweet Water Prayer Camp here in Northern New Jersey, where the Ramapough and allies have been met with much the same tactics and animus used by those in the dark days of civil rights.
Currently Chief Perry is working to establish the first Embassy of Sovereign Indigenous Nations of the Western Hemisphere. The Chief has called for those whose screams have been made silent through the normalization of repression to now stand forward in Unity.
Owl / Steven Smith, Esquire, son of William Alfred Smith, Esquire, who spent his early childhood in the Ramapo mountains and grandson of Ira Smith, professor and educator from Hillburn, NY, given the middle name “Dennison” in honor of the Dennison family of the Ramapo Mountains.
Steven Dennison Smith received his bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California at Santa Cruz and his doctorate of jurisprudence from the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Smith studied Mexican culture and history as a Pacific Rim scholar at the University of California for which he wrote an essay on an afro-mestizo community on the pacific coast of Mexico. Mr. Smith has traveled and lived extensively in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Guyana and Ecuador.
Mr. Smith has taught and lectured on a wide variety of subjects, including business law at Virginia Tech, science, technology and law for Virginia Tech and the University of Richmond School of Law, and introductory law for high school students. He has lectured on diverse subjects such as telecommunications policy, trade policy, environmental law, and the human rights of indigenous people. Steven Smith is a member of the California bar and Virginia bar of attorneys. Mr. Smith has assisted Navajo, Tohono O’odham, and Guyanese villagers with major environmental issues in national courts and before Congress and the United Nations.
Mr. Smith is currently an advisor to the Ramapough Lenape Nation.
Chadwick Allen (Chickasaw ancestry, not enrolled) is Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and Professor of English and American Indian studies at the University of Washington. Author of the books Blood Narrative: Indigenous Identity in American Indian and Maori Literary and Activist Texts and Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies, Professor Allen is co-editor, with Beth Piatote, of The Society of American Indians and Its Legacies. He is a former editor for the journal Studies in American Indian Literatures and served as the 2013-2014 President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA).
Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez is Zapotec from the Tehuantepec Isthmus, Oaxaca, Mexico. She is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Indigenous Feminist Studies. Her research examines the connection among body land, dispossession and refusal, and documents how Indigenous people experience and embody the impact of resource extraction. Among her books are: Living on the Land: Indigenous Women’s Understanding of Place (edited with N. Kermoal) and Indigenous Encounters with Neoliberalism: Place, Women, and the Environment.
Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is a PhD candidate and 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar in the Department of English & Film Studies at the University of Alberta. His books include THIS WOUND IS A WORLD (Frontenac, 2017/ University of Minnesota Press, 2019), winner of the 2018 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, and the forthcoming NDN COPING MECHANISMS: NOTES FROM THE FIELD (House of Anansi, 2019). Photo credit: Tenille Campbell.
Glen Coulthard is Yellowknives Dene and teaches political theory and Indigenous politics at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014), and a co-founder of Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, a decolonial, Indigenous land-based post-secondary program operating on his traditional territories in Denendeh (Northwest Territories).
Desiree Kane is a Miwok woman, multi-media journalist, and a live-media event producer. Her most recent notable work is with the Firestarter Films crew as an Investigative Journalist on the feature-length documentary film Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. She’s part of developing a 2-year media-making capacity building program for Indigenous Guyanese youth facing land loss through logging/deforestation and mining in their home territories with the Amerindian People’s Association and the Rainforest Foundation. She spent most of 2017 living at Oceti Sakowin Camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation documenting and organizing around #NoDAPL.
J. Kēhaulani Kauanui (Kanaka Maoli) is Professor of American Studies and affiliate faculty in Anthropology at Wesleyan University, where she teaches courses related to Indigenous studies, critical race studies, settler colonial studies, and anarchist studies. She is the current Chair of American Studies and the current Director of the Center for the Americas. Kauanui is one of the six original co-founders of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), established in 2008. Her first book is Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity (Duke University Press 2008) and her second book (newly released) is Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty: Land, Sex, and the Colonial Politics of State Nationalism (Duke University Press, 2018). She also has a new edited book, Speaking of Indigenous Politics: Conversations with Activists, Scholars, and Tribal Leaders (University of Minnesota Press, 2018). Kauanui currently serves as a co-producer for an anarchist politics show called, “Anarchy on Air,” a majority POC show co-produced with a group of Wesleyan students, which builds on her earlier work on another collaborative anarchist program called “Horizontal Power Hour.” She proudly serves as an advisory board member of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
Erica Violet Lee is a Nēhiyaw from inner-city Saskatoon, and currently a lecturer with the Department of Indigenous Studies. Erica is a writer, poet, and organizer with Idle No More and Indigenous Climate Action, holding a BA in Political Theory from the University of Saskatchewan. She is now pursuing her master’s degree in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE, University of Toronto. Erica writes about academia, love, and the universe as a young Indigenous femme on her blog, moontimewarrior.com, and tweets at @EricaVioletLee. She identifies as Two-Spirited, Queer, mentally ill, and a video game nerd.
John Little is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. He was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and South Dakota. He graduated with his BA from South Dakota State University and MA in history from the University of South Dakota. He is the co-director of the award-winning film More Than A Word, challenging and analyzing the use of Native American mascots in sports, in particular, the Washington Football Team. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Minnesota. His dissertation focuses on Native American Vietnam veterans.
Kyle T. Mays (Black/Saginaw Anishinaabe) is a transdisciplinary scholar of Afro-Indigenous Studies, Indigenous popular culture, and urban history at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America (SUNY Press, 2018). He is currently finishing a book titled, The Indigenous Motor City: Indigenous People and the Making of Modern Detroit (under contract with the University of Washington Press). He is also writing a book on Black and Indigenous relations in the United States.
Maggie Blackhawk (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe) is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. She teaches in the areas of constitutional law, federal Indian law, and legislation. Her research combines empirical, theoretical, and historical methods to examine the structural representation and empowerment of minorities. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, and Cambridge University Press. McKinley serves as co-principal investigator on an assortment of empirical projects studying lobbying and petitioning. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn, McKinley practiced union-side labor law at Bredhoff & Kaiser. She also clerked for the Honorable Susan P. Graber for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable Chief Judge James Ware of the Northern District of California. McKinley earned a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.A. in linguistic anthropology from UCLA. Prior to entering law school, McKinley worked for a number of years as a social science researcher on large-scale interdisciplinary projects. McKinley also serves as a Senior Constitutional Advisor to the President of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
Maya Mikdashi is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and a lecturer in the program in Middle East Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is an interdisciplinary scholar of the state. She currently is completing a book manuscript that examines political difference, sexual difference, secularism, and state power in the contemporary Middle East from the vantage point of Lebanon. She is also beginning a research project that examines the 19th century life of one Ojibwe woman from the vantage point of multiple archives and regimes of truth, including tribal, university, familial, and Ottoman archives
Maya has been a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow from 2014-2016 at Rutgers University, and a Faculty Fellow/Director of Graduate Studies, Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University 2012-2014. She is a co-founding editor of the e-zine Jadaliyya.com and Chair of the Indigenous Peoples caucus at the NWSA.
Dr. Bernard C. Perley is a member of the Maliseet Nation from Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick, Canada. He is an associate professor in the Anthropology department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he teaches courses in linguistic anthropology and American Indian Studies. He is currently a visiting associate professor of Anthropology and the Gordon Russell visiting associate professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth.
Dr. Perley received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. He went on to receive his PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University. The knowledge and experience gained from the three degree programs have contributed significantly in his writing and advocacy for revitalizing Native American languages, cultures, and identities as place-based interdependencies. He has published broadly on topics ranging from Indigenous language endangerment and language revitalization to Anthropology and Native American Studies theory and practice.
He has served on the Executive Board for the American Anthropological Association and continues his service to the discipline through various board memberships, such as the Language and Social Justice Group. Perley’s ongoing research is dedicated toward revitalizing Indigenous languages and Indigenous sovereignty and survivance. He also serves as a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Sociolinguistics and the Senior Editor of “Indigenous Anthropology” for the Oxford University Press Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology.
His critical creativity is expressed through cartoons drawn for the professional periodical Anthropology News as well as his own personal series “Having Reservations.”
Megan Red Shirt-Shaw (Oglala Lakota) earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in English, her masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Higher Education, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development with a focus on Higher Education at the University of Minnesota. She has worked at the University of Pennsylvania, Questbridge, Santa Clara University, and Albuquerque Academy in undergraduate admissions and college counseling. She is the founder of Natives In America, an online literary publication for Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian youth. Her intended research will focus on how urban Native student experiences impact recruitment, college choice, and retention.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, educator and artist. She is the author of As We Have Always Done (UMP 2017), This Accident of Being Lost (2017), Islands of Decolonial Love (2013), The Gift is in the Making (2013) and Dancing on our Turtle’s Back (2011). Photo credit: Nadya Kwandibens.
Kyle Whyte (Potawatomi) is the Timnick Chair in the Humanities and a professor in the departments of Philosophy and Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. His research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of Indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Kyle is involved in a number of projects and organizations that advance Indigenous research methodologies, including the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, Sustainable Development Institute of the College of Menominee Nation, Tribal Climate Camp, and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence. He has served as an author on the U.S. National Climate Assessment and is a former member of the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science and the Michigan Environmental Justice Work Group. He is a recipient of the Bunyan Bryant Award for Academic Excellence from Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice.