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Director's Welcome

Please join us in welcoming Megan Bang (Ojibwe and Italian descent) to the role of CNAIR Director!  Dr. Bang is a Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) in Learning Sciences and Psychology. Through the end of summer, she is serving as the Senior Vice President at the Spencer Foundation. Dr. Bang is a member of the National Academies of Education and also serves on the Board of Science Education at the National Academy of Sciences. Megan is a lifelong educator and proud mother, auntie, and grandmother. Megan will lead CNAIR through the next phase of the CNAIR strategic plan that includes strengthening the capacity to support community-engaged research with Native American and Indigenous communities. Towards that end, you will see a new position was filled for Associate Research Administrator (Katherine Castillo-Valentin).  We are also welcoming Michaela Marchi as our CNAIR Program Assistant! Pamala Silas, Associate Director, will provide day-to-day oversight and operational support through the year until Megan returns to the Northwestern campus for the fall quarter.  To read more about Dr. Bang’s research areas and accomplishments, follow this link:


Boozhoo, Posoh, Shekoi, Ahau (hello),

We are SO excited to see you again in person, especially after this challenging year of virtual learning and physical distancing.  We’ve now made four trips around the sun together and our CNAIR circle has grown even wider. We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Reynaldo Morales, a new assistant professor of journalism in the Medill School and the Buffett Institute for Global Studies.  Reynaldo’s research focuses on sustainable development, global media, and culturally distinctive and multicultural communities. He is a representative to the Indigenous Peoples Forum of the United Nations.  We also would like to welcome Stephen Hersh, also of the Medill School, who, in collaboration with Native News Online, is doing groundbreaking survey research on COVID-19 in Indian Country and attitudes towards the vaccine. Some of you may be familiar with Dr. Eli Suzukovich, who, as a lecturer, has taught popular classes including Maple Tapping and Climate Change. We are thrilled that beginning in fall 2022, Eli joins us as a full-time assistant professor of instruction in Environmental Policy and Culture.

This summer a group of Northwestern students, faculty, and staff, along with members of the Native American community, traveled to the Lac du Flambeau Reservation in northern Wisconsin where they helped Wayne Valliere, CNAIR’s artist-in-residence this fall, gather materials.  Wayne is a master Birchbark canoe builder who, with help from our CNAIR circle, built a 16-foot canoe on campus in Fall 2021. Please check the CNAIR website for details and where the completed canoe will be housed in the future. 

We invite you to drop in and see us at the CNAIR House (515 Clark Street) and connect with us at any of our CNAIR events.  For more details, check out 

Here’s to a safe and productive academic year!


Megan Bang, CNAIR Director

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