The International Journal of Diverse Identities
Volume 12, Number 4, 2013
Federal unenrollment impacts on scholar careers: A study on indigenous identity and membership in academia
You can find the entire article here.
Abstract: As universities across the country are becoming more diverse, responding to the impacts that assumptions about others have on the way we interact with colleagues, research participants, and communities is crucial for all scholars. In particular, the politics of identity, both actual and perceived, for Indigenous scholars in the Western Hemisphere are uniquely complex. Through a review of the relevant literature, I describe influences on scholar identity formation, and discuss individual impacts of working within campus climates while experiencing microaggression. Utilizing Indigenous voices as the focal data, I explore the experience of scholars in post-secondary institutions in the United States in relation to historical factors that have determined Indigeneity by colonial and racist measures. This was a mixed-methods study, utilizing an online survey and oral history interviews to explore the multiple interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples pertinent to academic scholars who are not federally recognized yet still identify themselves as Indigenous. Demographic characteristics and relevant experiences of Indigenous scholars in tertiary institutions throughout the United States are described. Obstacles to scholar confidence and support systems were identified within families, communities, and institutions. Participating scholars’ experiences ranged from being comfortable with the difference between themselves and their colleagues to reports of ignorant remarks, conflicts between those with Recognized and non- Recognized statuses, and work environments where Indigenous selves were masked to the point of not existing beyond the assumptions of others based on skin color. This preliminary work is the first project of its kind and provides groundwork for further exploration about the marginalization of Indigenous scholars in postsecondary institutions and the impact of disparate experiences on unrecognized Indigenous scholars in a variety of academic fields.
I was just informed by my wonderful fellow UCD graduate colleague (and friend) Dr. Kristina Casper-Denman, professor at American River College, that she has cited my work in her dissertation. To my knowledge this is the first citation of my published work.
Her dissertation, “California Indian Education Association (CIEA): Working Towards Educational Sovereignty” explores the history of indigenous educational movements in California and suggests that the future of of academic sovereignty lies in continued reclaiming by the indigenous nations across the state and improved methods for increasing cultural competency of school instructors at all grade levels.
Congrats to Dr. Casper-Denman who earned her Ph.D. in Native American Studies in 2013!
It is with great excitement that I announce the first part of my post-Ph.D. journey: this Friday I begin my postdoctoral work at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College of Arizona State University! I have just moved to Arizona (and yes, in July and August it is HOT) but am looking forward to what awaits me under the supervision of Dr. Audrey Beardsley. Arizona is a really unique place with small, rural indigenous communities; small and large reservations that cross state and nation boundaries; and large, urban centers. With a number of well-respected scholars in my field, I know ASU will be a really great place to learn and grow over the next two years.
I am humbled to have collaborated with a number of amazing colleagues while a student at the University of California, Davis. Cutcha Risling Baldy, whose work focuses on Native women, shared early manuscripts of this piece, published on June 28 in Ecological Processes.
This coming Saturday, I will be presenting about my dissertation research at California State University, Sacramento. The brown bag session titled “Current Issues in Indigenous Education Policy & Data” is going to be given to educational leadership doctoral students.
Despite being so close to dissertation submission (yes, I wrote at night, in between sessions, and on my flights), I flew off to D.C. for a fun three day institute given by the American Educational Research Association on causal inference analyses for education policy research. The institute focused on design of randomized experiments and challenges to implementation in educational settings. We considered methodological approaches such as propensity scores, regression discontinuity, instrumental variables, path analysis, and structural equation modeling as methods of establishing causal relationships. I met graduate students and faculty from around the U.S., and hope that we will have connections that we can develop into future collaborations.
I encourage anyone in education policy that wants to spend a few days with great faculty teachers dialoguing about causal inference with research, apply to attend. Watch for the opportunity here: http://www.aera.net/ProfessionalOpportunitiesFunding/FundingOpportunities/StatisticalAnalysisCausalInference/tabid/14751/Default.aspx.
This coming Tuesday, I will be presenting about my dissertation research at the UC Davis School of Education. The brown bag session titled “Current Issues in Indigenous Education Policy & Data” is free and open to the public.
I will say it now: I hate messy desktop screens.
As my work became more integrated with technology tools, I found that I needed an efficient way to organize my apps on my tablet. I didn’t want to flip through endless screens to find what I use most, nor did I want to remember if I filed something on the “personal” screen or the “academic” screen. I needed a way to organize myself so that no matter what I was doing, I would quickly find the right app, helping me integrate my tablet into the natural course of my activities.
What finally worked best for me, after trying many different schemes, was organizing apps by what I do with them. This goes beyond the category types you’ll find them organized under in the Play Store or iTunes and instead describes the actual function. Taking a break and want to catch up on news feeds? Check out my “read” folder. Time to update the blog? Look in “write”. Skype date with a colleague who moved across the country? I’ll find that in “talk”.
As you can see, I have my folders on an upper row. Now, my apps that I’m going to use frequently that I don’t want to tap through to find, are situated on a second row and include the obvious – my web browser, calendar, notebook, and email. Everything else that I use on a weekly basis, and yes, that includes Organ Trail, the zobmie-awesome Oregon Trail spin-off, is located in a top row folder. The other four screens of my tablet don’t even include anything at this point and everything else on the device can be accessed in the full menu if needed.
If you’ve been struggling to integrate your devices into your work-flow, then think about trying this action-based organization system. How do you organize your apps? Have you found a system that helps you work and play?
As usual, a lot happened at the 2013 meeting of the American Educational Research Association. This conference is so big, I don’t think I’ll ever get close to exploring all of it. This year’s highlights for me included our first fireside chat mentoring session in the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas SIG, presenting preliminary analysis from my dissertation, and being voted in as program co-chair for the 2014 meeting.
This year, Program Chair Dr. Eve Tuck introduced the idea of creating a mentoring space in our SIG program. While we worked with her during the planning process, my colleague Crystal Jensen and I developed some ideas about using the time to have small group discussions on particular career-oriented topics. We had 8 junior-senior scholar pairs scheduled to participate and around 40 scholars attended the session. Crystal and I spent the session considering directions for 2014 with Dr. Tuck and Dr. Linda T. Smith who also attended. I think it was a huge success!
During the SIG business meeting, Crystal and I, who helped develop the 2013 program with Eve were nominated in and voted in (although it still has to go out for a full SIG vote) to chair the 2014 program. We will get a behind the scenes look at planning with the SIG leadership and I think we are both really looking forward to the opportunity. See you in 2014!
Finally, I did present preliminary results of my dissertation analysis with the Curriculum and Instruction SIG. There was good conversation and all the papers of the session fit together well to create some dialogue. I always enjoy the exchange that happens, and come home excited (and really tired!) of the possibilities of future directions.
I just enjoyed a fun two days at the American Indian Studies Association in Tempe, AZ. A small conference, with lots to offer, AISA is the longest-standing meeting of scholars on indigenous studies in the United States. A diverse set of topics were discussed over the course of the conference and drew scholars from all over the country. I presented a paper from a recent seminar class on visual sovereignty, where I analyzed an indigenous gaze in the photographing of cultural objects (particularly those held by museums and in private collections). Although not part of my main research, as an artist, I do hope in the future to continue finding ways to intersect my art and educational research interests, and found much encouragement at this meeting.