There is often discussion of the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to Indigenous research, but we wanted to see what that would actually look like in practice. Our vision was to find out who was studying Native communities, histories, languages, and practices on campus so we could start talking. Our hope was and is to not only make networks for future collaborations but to form a larger community on the UC Davis campus, bringing together graduate students with a sense of investment in the betterment of the lives and peoples of the Indigenous Americas. In the future, we hope to expand the symposium to include other UC campuses and community members. For now, by sticking to the Davis campus we are afforded the opportunity and experience of putting together a more manageably-sized symposium for the first time around, which was both rewarding and challenging.
We are grateful to the Department of Native American Studies for co-hosting this unique event. Professors Inés Hernández-Avila, Martha Macri, and Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie were also very supportive and their participation adds a level of awesomeness to our program. Many others also answered the call for symposium planning, especially Tina Tansey and Stella Mancillas whose dedication to NAS student and department projects never wavers. Brook Colley, Cutcha Risling Baldy, Angel Hinzo, and Matthew Casey all worked hard to secure funding and without them this event would not be possible. Cutcha’s experience and expertise brought a much-needed sense of organization and confidence to this project. Brook’s suggestion to video record panels in order to create an archive allows us to share our work beyond our campus and we hope to post those as they become available. History Ph.D. candidate Ryan Tripp’s enthusiasm to join our project made it abundantly clear that the need for interdepartmental collaboration is both necessary and urgent on the UC Davis campus. Our presenters and moderators answered this call for collaboration as evidenced by the wide range of participating disciplines: Native American Studies, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Community Development, Cultural Studies, English, History, and Spanish & Portuguese. Sarah Laudenslayer at the Women’s Recruitment and Retention Center dedicated not only her design vision but also her time and patience to develop promotional materials for the symposium. Lastly, thank you to Alicia María Siu whose artwork Iyat Pahtli (Tobacco Medicine) embodies the hemispheric approach that we wish to bring to the symposium and our research, reminding us that creative approaches to Indigenous knowledge are invaluable and honored.
Did we mention that there will be snacks? :) We will have free flowing coffee, tea, water, and munchies in addition to our keynote luncheon and dessert reception. We hope that you join us for this exciting day of exchange as we engage the Indigenous Americas!
A special thanks to all of our sponsors:
Department of Native American Studies
College of Letters and Sciences: Division of Arts & Cultural Studies
Graduate Student Association
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center
Native American Studies Graduate Student Association
Office of Graduate Studies
Student Recruitment and Retention Center
UC Davis Native American Faculty Association
Women’s Resources and Research Center
- Patricia Killelea and Christine M. Willie