If you get, give. If you learn, teach.
— Maya Angelou
As an alum of the University of Wisconsin, in many ways I feel like I am back where it all began; and it is a wonderful feeling. As a first-generation college student and Native woman, the University of Wisconsin significantly influenced my career trajectory. After taking classes in American Indian Studies, I found my real passion. Soon after graduating, I began working with K-12 Native American students in public education. With a strong background in the humanities, I started to ask myself deeper questions about the community I worked with, my own experience as a suburban Indian, and federal Indian policies in general. Eventually I pursued my PhD at the University of Minnesota in the Department of American Studies with an emphasis in American Indian Studies.
Today, my research is largely concerned with the intersection of federal Indian policy and federal housing policy as well as larger ideas about land, boundaries, development, and belonging. I bring together these two seemingly divergent areas of study to examine the long history of settler colonialism, land dispossession, and land tenure that gave way to twentieth century mass home construction, land development, suburbanization, and American Indian homeownership. My research highlights the key inequalities in access to as well as distribution of federal funds for housing more generally, but for American Indian housing and homeownership in particular. This is a rich area of study because today the majority of American Indian people live off-reservation and home residence has significant influence on education and employment outcomes.
I am currently working on my book manuscript, American Indians and the American Dream which analyzes the ways in which American Indian people have worked both against and with federal Indian policy to navigate homeownership both off and on-reservation.
I am thrilled to be back at the University of Wisconsin, working with Native and non-Native students alike and contributing to the Department of Civil Society & Community Studies and American Indian Studies as an assistant professor. Go Badgers!