Archives and Knowledge Keepers: Native American and Indigenous Studies and the Art of History

Thank you to everyone who made this event a success!

A One-Day Symposium at Boston University | May 4, 2023 / 10am-5pm

Indigenous artists, writers, activists, and scholars working in a variety of fields, periods, and across media, have called for a reevaluation of traditional Western epistemologies that privilege textual evidence as the only reliable resource for creating historical narratives. This one-day symposium showcases scholars whose work engages Indigenous modes of knowledge production and might incorporate textual archives but also artifacts, oral traditions, and non-alphabetic material texts. Relatedly, it aims to further reflection and discussion among attendees upon the methods, resources, and aesthetic practices we use to tell stories about the past.

The symposium will begin with a welcome from jessie little doe baird (Mashpee Wampanoag), Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project Co Founder and Lead Linguist.


9:30 am Coffee and Continental Breakfast

10:00 am Welcome Address

jessie little doe baird (Mashpee Wampanoag), Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project Co Founder and Lead Linguist

10:30 am Session One

Chair: Paul Conrad, University of Texas at Arlington

“Fantasies of Elimination and Ottawa Political Traditions,” David Dry (Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma), UNC-Chapel Hill

“Beyond the Text of Treaty 4: Land, Object, Image,” Johannah Bird (Peguis First Nation), McMaster University

“What the History of Triqui Sovereignty and Migration from Oaxaca, Mexico Teaches Us About Global Indigeneity,” Jorge Ramirez-Lopez (Sii’cha’anja/Triqui), Dartmouth College

12:00 pm Lunch

(provided for registered attendees)

1:00 pm Session Two

Chair: Alyssa Mt. Pleasant (Haudenosaunee)

“Working on the Creative Continuum of My Ancestors,” Clementine Bordeaux (Sicangu Oglala Lakota), UC-Los Angeles

“Oneida in Infinite Dimensions: Prospective Ideas on Oneida Intellectuals in the Archive,” Marissa Carmi (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), UNC-Chapel Hill

“The Other Lands We Know: Towards a Fuller History of American Indian Mobility,” Jessica Locklear (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina), Emory University

2:30 pm Coffee Break

3:00 pm Session Three

Chair: Wade Campbell (Diné), Boston University

“Rebel Royals: The Material Culture of the Kīngitanga, 1858-2005,” Chanel Clarke (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Waikato, Ngāti Porou), Te Whare Wānanga o wanuiārangi, NZ

“Genealogical practices in the Tokelau diaspora: living archives of responsibilities and relations,” Melanie Puka Bean (Atafu, Fakaofo – Tokelau, Sāleimoa, Faleasiu – Sāmoa), Louisiana State University

4:00 pm Conclusions

Vincent Stephens, Boston University

Chair: Joseph Rezek, Boston University

Respondent: Philip J. Deloria (Dakota), Harvard University

5:00 pm Reception

Co-sponsored by the Associate Deans for the Faculty, Humanities and Social Sciences


Inquiries: Prof. Joseph Rezek, Director, American & New England Studies Program:

This Emerging Scholars Program is organized by the American & New England Studies Program and is sponsored by Boston University Diversity & Inclusion and the College of Arts & Sciences. With assistance from ATW Research + Consulting