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2023-24 Theme: Indigenous Futures:  A ten-year era for the  Center for Native American and Indigenous Research 

Indigenous Futures: A ten-year era for the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research 

In 1924 the Indian Citizenship Act was passed, making American Indians citizens of the United States, not by birth, but by congressional act. The act was followed in 1934 by the Indian reorganization act which provided monetary and land incentives for Native nations to adopt constitutions like that of the United States and to create city council-style governments. This era has had profound impact on Indian country and shaped citizenship, belonging, governance, communal relationships, and development, amongst many other dimensions that are central to self-determination and sovereignty. CNAIR sees this historic moment as an opportunity for engagement and reflection on the past 100 years and to imagine forward for the next 100 years. We are at the beginning of a new era of reform in Indian country in which citizenship, belonging, culture, language, law, and policy and much more will be remade given the significant social, political, ecological, and economic challenges that all communities face in the coming century.  

Over the next decade we aim to create collective engagement with the many layers and dynamics that are implicated both by the historical conditions that have created the present and what is critical in exercising self-determination over the next 100 years. While we are grounding this theme in history and dynamics in North America, these issues are unfolding across the globe as Indigenous peoples continue to struggle for their existence and right to self-determination. We intend for our programming and focus to also engage global Indigeneities. Our theme is intentionally broad to accomplish and invite work that delves into the necessary particularities of communities and places but also invites dialogue and exchange across places and communities. We intend for each year to have a different content focus. Importantly however across these shifts, we will continue to deepen CNAIR’s commitment to community engaged and serving scholarship that takes seriously Indigenous knowledge systems and Indigenous methods across the many disciplines reflected in academic institutions. Indigenous knowledge systems reflect the arts, humanities, engineering, sciences, history, law, health, education, economics and much more. Healthy and thriving Indigenous nations do and will continue to require engagement across these many domains and thus scholarship from across the disciplines can and should be engaged – and what in our experience tribal partners ask for. An important shift in CNAIR’s programming will be to expand the annual symposium to become a summit that brings together scholars and tribal leaders to explore cutting edge issues and the ways in which academics can powerfully and appropriately contribute.  

We invite programming and partnership in these endeavors through the following avenues: 

  1. Event co-sponsorship: CNAIR has some limited co-sponsorships funds available. For co-sponsorship consideration, please complete this online form. 
  2. Related curriculum or course enhancement:  CNAIR faculty fellowships and graduate fellowships addressing our 2023-2024 theme will receive priority – Deadline: Jan 12, 2024 
  3. Lecture series: Brown Bags (Fall Oct 17, 2023; Winter Feb 6, 2024) 
  4. Spring 2024 Convening of Tribal leaders, scholars, community:  expanding CNAIR’s Annual Research Symposium! 

Finally, we are open to new ideas and possibilities as well and welcome the chance to imagine new avenues of collaboration.