2016 Meeting Report

The 2016 meeting of the American Indigenous Research Association, held October 21 to 23, with a range of amazing workshops on the 20th, hosted over 150 people from nearly 80 Indigenous tribes and nations. AIRA is once more so grateful for the generous support that Montana INBRE at Montana State University has given us this year. And this year, we have a wonderful short video that lets you see what it was like if you weren’t able to attend. Thanks to Tim San Pedro of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio for making this video and letting us share it with you!

crowdDr. Maggie Walter of the University of Tasmania, author of Indigenous Statistics: A Quantitative Research Method, delivered one of several keynote presentations that addressed the conference theme “Research from the Field: Application of Indigenous Methodologies and Methods.” Other keynotes by Jane Mt. Pleasant of Cornell and Shawn Wilson of Gnibi University were also enthusiastically received.

Anne Lindblom (seated), attending from Sweden, enjoys a workshop co-taught by Barb Smith and Linda Moon Stumpff (pictured, standing) at the AIRA 2016 meeting.

Anne Lindblom (seated), attending from Sweden, enjoys a workshop co-taught by Barb Smith and Linda Moon Stumpff (pictured, standing) at the AIRA 2016 meeting.

Attendees were able to choose from five amazing workshops held the day before meeting sessions opened. Dr. Leonie Pihama and Rihi Te Nana’s all-day workshop on “Developing Indigenous Theory and Methodology” was particularly well-attended. Barbara Smith and Linda Moon Stumpff of Evergreen State College led their workshop participants through learning via case studies, Shawn Wilson and Liz Rix led “Indigenous Futures: Yarning, Co-design, and Re-directive Practice,” Ku Kahakalau facilitated a workshop on Hawai’ian research epistemology, and Lily Yeh and Co Carew got their participants active in creating art as a way of knowing.

The poster session organized by Gina Sievert, Cecelia Arnoux, Corinna Littlewolf was, once again, a highlight of the meeting. And in regular sessions, sixteen platform presentations showcased the work of more than thirty researchers, including the Yellowstone Altai-Sayan Project team of Montana and Mongolian Native people. One creative presentation was even delivered by Dawn Adams via SKYPE from Massachusetts, and broadcast from Jo Belasco’s phone IN HER CAR!!

Emily Matt Salois (left), Lori Lambert, conference chair and AIRA founder (center), and Ann Bertagnoli of IMBRE (right) share a moment of celebration at the 2016 meeting. Emily and Ann hold awards for service to AIRA.

Emily Matt Salois (left), Lori Lambert, conference chair and AIRA founder (center), and Ann Bertagnoli of Montana INBRE (right) share a moment of celebration at the 2016 meeting. Emily and Ann hold awards for service to AIRA.

Tribes and nations represented among meeting speakers and participants were from several continents around the world, and included Abenaki, Apsaalooke/Nez Perce, Arapahoe, Arikara, Assiniboine, Bannock, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cochiti Pueblo, Coeur d’Alene, Cowichan, Cree, Crow, Diné /Navajo, Dene, Duwamish, Filipino, Haida, Hidatsa, Ho-Chunk, Iroquois, Kahnawake Nation, Kootenai, Laguna Pueblo, Lakota, Ojibwe, Louis Bull of Maskwacis, Lumbee, Lummi, Metis, Mandan, MHA Nation, Michel First Nation, Micmac, Mohawk, Mongolian, Nakoda, Nakona, Nanaimo, Native Hawaiian, Nga Mahanga a Tairi, Palawa, Paquachin, Pawnee, Peguis First Nation, Salish, San Carlos Apache, Shoshone, Sisseton WahpetonOyate, Spokane, Te Atiawa, Te Atihaunui a Paparangi, Tohono O’odham Nation, Treveri, Turn, Tuscarora, Upper Nicola, Yakama Nation, Yaqui. Almost equal numbers of attendees were college or university faculty on one hand, or graduate students on the other hand – and sometimes both at once! Lab and field researchers, undergraduate students, teachers outside the college/ university system, tribal Elders, and tribal employees also attended.

The caterer, Cheri’s kitchen and her staff, worked diligently to keep up with feeding breakfasts, snacks, and lunches over the four-day event. This year she even catered the Friday night banquet, which was held at the Camas room on the Campus of Salish Kootenai College.

Special awards of appreciation were given out to many of the volunteers who have committed their time and efforts over the past 4 years.

On the last day, after the Round Dance Corky Clairmont, former Department Head of the art department and Frank Finley, cultural artist, gave participants a tour of the beautiful art department building.

checkinPresentations for this meeting may be found here.

Want to attend in 2017? Be sure to JOIN AIRA and to SIGN UP for our newsletter mailing list so you can get all the notifications, call for papers, and announcements as they come out! All of it’s free. If you use Indigenous Research Methods in your work, whether you’re a student, lab tech, faculty member, or Elder; in social science, engineering, the life or physical sciences, or even the arts — be part of what AIRA is doing!