Critical Indigenous Studies Initiative
Professors Laura Sachiko Fugikawa (Assistant Professor, American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) and Amber Hickey (Faculty Fellow, American Studies) launched the Critical Indigenous Studies Initiative in 2019-2020. This initiative seeks to center Indigenous scholarship and activism in regular community forums, collaborate with and support Indigenous students, support faculty who engage with Indigenous and Native American Studies during regular working group meetings, and continue to build relationships with Indigenous community members in Maine. The interdisciplinary working group includes members from the American Studies Program, the Pugh Center, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, the Colby Museum, Theater and Dance Department, French and Italian Department, Anthropology Department, History Department, Spanish Department, English Department, and the Science, Technology, and Society Program.
In 2019-2020, the American Studies Program co-sponsored lectures and film screenings across the college featuring Indigenous scholars and activists. In February 2020, the students in Prof. Amber Hickey’s Land, Sovereignty, and Art course, along with several members of the Four Winds Native American Alliance, visited the Wabanaki land reclamation project Nibezun in Passadumkeag, Maine. During a walking tour with Stanley Neptune (Penobscot), the students learned about land-based knowledge initiatives, including the maple-syrup gathering process and Nibezun’s forthcoming medicinal plant trail. The visit concluded with a lunchtime discussion with Penobscot elder and artist Tim Shay. Community activist Corrina Gould (Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone woman, born and raised in Oakland, CA/the territory of Huichuin), was the initiative’s first guest speaker in 2020-2021.
In fall 2021, CISI collaborated with the University of Maine’s Native American Programs to organize a series of events in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. For more information, please see here.
In fall 2022, CISI is working with a variety of community partners including the Oak Institute for Human Rights, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Pugh Center, the Colby Museum, and Four Winds Native American Alliance to help bring you a series of exciting programs. For more information, please see here.
Students interested in learning more about Indigenous studies may consult this list of courses offered at Colby.
- Basket Weaving Workshop with Paula Love (Penobscot) (Saturday, November 5, 1:00 pm, Pugh Center Commons)
Keep an eye out for our spring program line-up, including a visit from Wabanaki Reach, a film screening, and an event on food sovereignty!
- Settler Colonialism 101, a crash course on what settler colonialism is (in the past and today) and why it matters. Free snacks and books! Wednesday, October 26, 4-5:30pm Miller 14.
- Reading by Morgan Talty (Penobscot) from his new collection of interconnected stories, Night of the Living Rez. This event is part of the Oak Institute for Human Right’s year long series on Indigenous Rights. Monday, October 19, 7pm. Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building.
- Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee) on representations of Indigenous bodies. This event is part of the Oak Institute for Human Right’s year long series on Indigenous Rights. See here for more. Wednesday, October 5, 7 p.m. Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building
- Indigenous Perspectives on AI (Thursday, March 10th, 4pm-6pm). More info here.
- Crash Course: Settler Colonialism (Tuesday, March 29, 4pm-5:30pm, Lovejoy 100). More info coming soon.