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Cross-Border Research and Indigenous Inquiry

Capuder 2009
The Eighth Annual Symposium of Native American Students in Advanced Academia was organized by a team of graduate students including Karen Capuder (right). Augustine McCaffery (left), Graduate School, served as advisor. A reception followed the symposium that celebrated the promotion of Canadian Studies Affiliated Faculty, Charlotte Coté, American Indian Studies, to Associate Professor.

June 30, 2009

On April 3, 2009, Native American Students in Advanced Academia (NASAA) hosted the Eighth Annual Symposium of Native Scholarship at the UW. Cross-border inquiry offers Indigenous students the opportunity to engage with scholars immersed in different political and institutional climates conducting research within their areas of interest.

The cross-border exchange of ideas, methodologies, and philosophies helps to deepen Indigenous student awareness of the possibilities of incorporating the values of their own families and communities into their research, as well as providing venues for dialogue around environmental, political, social, and spiritual issues which know no borders. NASAA student Karen Capuder (Kanien’keha:ka) draws on her conversations with traditional leaders from Kahnawa:ke, Tyendinega, and Akwesasne in creating a framework for anthropological inquiry rooted in Roti’nonshon:ni values. Ms. Capuder has found that her Kanien’keha:ka colleagues who live in Canada have comparatively more support in their efforts to create collaborative research methodologies for working with First Nations and other Indigenous peoples than she finds in US-based anthropology programs.

Ms. Capuder’s PhD supervisory committee includes Dr. John Welch, Canada Research Chair in First Nations Cultural and Environmental Resource Management at Simon Fraser University, whose collaborative archaeological research with First Nations in British Columbia is on the cutting edge of empowering anthropological inquiry with and within Indigenous communities.

The Eighth Annual Symposium for Native American Students in Advanced Academia was funded, in part, by a grant from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and a Title VI Grant, International Education Programs Service, US Department of Education.

Native American Students in Advanced Academia (NASAA)

The Native American Students in Advanced Academia (NASAA) at the University of Washington was created to bring together graduate and professional students of Native American, First Nations, and Alaskan Native descent as well as our other Indigenous relatives. NASAA’s goal is to increase awareness of the diversity and excellence of the ongoing research, work and achievement of these students, and to provide a forum to socialize, network, and disseminate information.

Karen Capuder (Kanien’keha:ka) is a third year PhD student in UW’s Sociocultural Anthropology Program. Ms. Capuder’s research methodologies are grounded in the Kaianerekowa, the Great Law of Peace of the Roti’nonshon:ni (Iroquois).