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Sovereignty and Indigeneity in the Big Ten

Spring flowers bloom in front of Altgeld Hall at the University of Illinois.
Spring flowers bloom in front of Altgeld Hall at the University of Illinois.

Sovereignty and Indigeneity in the Big Ten: Telling Our Stories

Monday, October 12, 2020
3:00 to 4:30 pm Central Time / 4:00 to 5:30 pm Eastern Time

Sponsored by the Big Ten Native Alliance
Please register to receive Zoom link.

Join us this Indigenous Peoples’ Day for a collaborative panel discussion led by Native researchers and practitioners in the Big Ten. The panel will focus on Native experiences in academia, Indigenous led research and pedagogy, and how these are reflected in the national political and social climates.

Learn more about the panel and related Indigenous Peoples’ Day events.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate in this program, please contact Nichole Boyd at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for your access needs to be met.


Lisa Aguilar (Three Affiliated Tribes, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) – Indiana University Bloomington

Assistant Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology

Lisa Aguilar is a recent graduate from Mizzou’s school psychology program. She has worked closely with small tribal schools in Alaska and North Dakota both in an applied and research capacity. Lisa has published in research and practitioner focused journals, presented at local and national conferences, and contributed chapters to various school psychology texts. Her research interests include increasing academic success for Indigenous youth in schools and communities, multicultural competency training for graduate students and professionals, and academic interventions as a form of prevention and culturally responsive education.

Native-Serving Resource at IU

Melissa Beard Jacob (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) – The Ohio State University

Intercultural Specialist, American Indian/Indigenous Student Initiatives

Melissa Beard Jacob (she, her, hers) is Ojibwe from Northern Michigan and an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Her traditional name in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe Language) is Awunkoquay, which translates into Woman in the Fog. She is eagle clan and embraces a number of roles and responsibilities as an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe woman), mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, educator, writer and historian.

Melissa received her PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University and her research interests include Native American boarding school histories, collective memory and cultural trauma, Indigenous methodologies and performance theory. Her dissertation entitled “Reclaiming My Family’s Story: Cultural Trauma and Indigenous Ways of Knowing” is an Indigenous autoethnographic study of her own family’s story of survival through the Native American boarding school system. Melissa also holds a BA in Journalism from Michigan State University and a MA in Film and Media Studies from Wayne State University.

Native-Serving Resource at Ohio State

Jenny L. Davis (Chickasaw Nation) – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies
Director of the American Indian Studies Program

Jenny L. Davis is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. Her research focuses on contemporary Indigenous language revitalization; Indigenous gender and sexuality; and collaborative methods, ethics, and repatriation in Indigenous research. Her research has been published in the Annual Review of Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Gender & Language, Language in Society, and the Review of International American Studies (RIAS), among others. She is the recipient of two book prizes: the 2019 Beatrice Medicine Award from the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures for Talking Indian: Identity and Language Revitalization in the Chickasaw Renaissance (University of Arizona Press, 2018) and the 2014 Ruth Benedict Book Prize from the Association for Queer Anthropology and the American Anthropological Association for her co-edited volume Queer Excursions: Retheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Native-Serving Resource at Illinois

Bethany Hughes (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) – Michigan

Doug Kiel (Oneida Nation) – Northwestern University

Terese Mailhot (Seabird Island First Nations) – Purdue University

Bayley J. Marquez (Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians) – University of Maryland

Dylan Miner (Métis Nation) – Michigan State University

Danielle Yancey (Menominee/Santee Nations) – University of Wisconsin-Madison