Upcoming Event – 2015 AERA

Academics, Presentations

I know things have been kind of silent from me for awhile. I attended the American Anthropological Association meeting in Washington D.C. in December (and had a really great time presenting collaborative work and making connections with researchers doing great work across the world) and unfortunately picked up the very nasty flu that was working its way across the East. My illness and recovery were both prolonged due to complications and I just kind of fell behind. (Like not getting around to writing about the conference and the awesome time I had visiting the National Museum of the American Indian and meeting the awesome Chickasaw jeweler Kristen Dorsey!)

In an attempt to get back into keeping up with my posting about my scholarship, I wanted to share some key sessions where you can find me hanging out at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Chicago and give you a glimpse into the kinds of activities I get up to within the association.

This year, I am completing my term as the Program Co-Chair for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas SIG. What’s that mean? It means for the last two conferences, I and a colleague have been in charge organizing the peer review of all the paper and panel submissions for our group and then crafting the program space at the conference. It is incredibly rewarding work to be able to see the work of our scholars across the world and craft the program from scratch. This year’s conference, in addition to the SIG program features more than 100 papers and presentations engaging Indigenous education topics.

If you are a tweeter attending the conference, please also look to join our online conversations happening at #IndigenousAERA through out the meeting. Share learning from your Indigenous panels and workshops and draw out themes and ideas from the discussions in which you participate. (Please let your groups know that you are serving as a witness to the event and respectfully not share anything that is requested to not be shared to the public.) There is so much happening at #IndigenousAERA this a great way to keep up with sessions you can’t attend as well. You can also follow the #IndigenousAERA tag from wherever you are if you are unable to attend. Feel free to reach out to me @nicolereneephd as well.

See you around Chicago/Twitter/The Interwebs.

  • Thursday, April 16 (6:15-8:15 pm) Indigenous Peoples of the Americas SIG Business Meeting, Marriott, Fifth Level, Los Angeles/Miami

SIG Business meetings are a great place to get to see how scholars in the SIG interact, learn about what what it means to be a part of the SIG, and the yearly activities. In our meeting, officers will report on our work from through out the year, give awards to honor scholars, and also hear a special paper presentation on Indigenous students’ sense of belonging during their first year in college.

  • Friday, April 17 (12:25-1:55 pm) Humanizing Research Praxis Toward Indigenous Justice: A Fireside Chat, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level, Hong Kong

This is a special session convened by the Social Justice Action Committee, as envisioned and organized by myself and my fantastic program co-chair Dr. Cueponcaxochitl D Moreno Sandoval. Building on Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s 2012 AERA Opening Plenary speech, “The knowing circle of Indigenous education: It is not enough just to know” and engaging the ideals of Humanizing Research, edited by Drs. Django Paris and Maisha T. Winn in their recent book “Humanizing research: Decolonizing qualitative inquiry with youth and their communities” (2014), this fireside chat continues the conversations about the complex and dynamic intersections of culture, language, and heritage in developing a research praxis. Dr. Graham Smith, along with Drs. Paris and Winn, along with emerging Indigenous scholars will speak to the ways that scholarship, educators, and institutions can undertake a critical-theory view and implement policies and strategies to include the principles of Indigenous-human justice and move us from knowing to action.

  • Saturday, April 18 (2:45-4:15 pm) AERA SIG Executive Committee and 2016 Annual Meeting SIG Program Chairs Centennial Planning, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level, Atlanta

In this governance session, key members of AERA will be present to discuss the planning of the 100th annual meeting of the AERA, to be held in Washington, D.C. in 2016 (hopefully by April of next year there will be no more flu there waiting for me!). I and my co-chair, along with other program chairs have been invited to engage in conversation about innovative, collaborative practices that our SIGs use to develop programs.

  • Monday, April 20 (10:35-12:05 pm) Indigenous Students Navigating Identity, Motivation, and Epistemology in Education: A Fireside Chat, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level, Acapulco

As this session is so dear to me, I am happy that it is the last one of this series of key sessions for my 2015 conference schedule. Dr. Eve Tuck began the fireside mentoring series at the 2013 AERA when Dr. Crystal Jensen and I were still graduate student assistants helping her with some of the program duties. Now in its third year, the session brings invited advancing scholars and mentor scholars into conversation with each other in round-table style presentations and dialogues about scholarship and navigating academic careers. The session is fluid in its form, incorporating whole group and small group teachings and learning. The session is always re-shaping based on the needs of our scholars and is a really great place to spend some time thinking together about the ways we move among our many different communities.


Invited Talk at Indigenous Policy and Law Conference

Academics, Presentations

On Friday morning, I returned from a very cold place. I mean that literally – when my flight left East Lansing, Michigan at 7 am, it was just 4 degrees F outside. Although I was as cold as I have ever been (living in the desert means I don’t have the kind of footwear appropriate for such visits), I was honored and excited to have participated in the 11th Annual Indigenous Policy and Law Conference and Michigan State University. I thank the organizers for reaching out and welcoming me to a new professional circle. I hope to continue to follow their work in the future as they continue pushing the boundaries of self-determination among Indigenous peoples. For a glimpse of our day together, check out my storify feed below which features my live tweets and pictures from the MSU Indigenous Policy and Law Center blog!

A lot happening at AERA 2013

Academics, Presentations

As usual, a lot happened at the 2013 meeting of the American Educational Research Association. This conference is so big, I don’t think I’ll ever get close to exploring all of it. This year’s highlights for me included our first fireside chat mentoring session in the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas SIG, presenting preliminary analysis from my dissertation, and being voted in as program co-chair for the 2014 meeting.

This year, Program Chair Dr. Eve Tuck introduced the idea of creating a mentoring space in our SIG program. While we worked with her during the planning process, my colleague Crystal Jensen and I developed some ideas about using the time to have small group discussions on particular career-oriented topics. We had 8 junior-senior scholar pairs scheduled to participate and around 40 scholars attended the session. Crystal and I spent the session considering directions for 2014 with Dr. Tuck and Dr. Linda T. Smith who also attended. I think it was a huge success!

During the SIG business meeting, Crystal and I, who helped develop the 2013 program with Eve were nominated in and voted in (although it still has to go out for a full SIG vote) to chair the 2014 program. We will get a behind the scenes look at planning with the SIG leadership and I think we are both really looking forward to the opportunity. See you in 2014!

Finally, I did present preliminary results of my dissertation analysis with the Curriculum and Instruction SIG. There was good conversation and all the papers of the session fit together well to create some dialogue. I always enjoy the exchange that happens, and come home excited (and really tired!) of the possibilities of future directions.

Presentation at American Indian Studies Association

Academics, Presentations

I just enjoyed a fun two days at the American Indian Studies Association in Tempe, AZ. A small conference, with lots to offer, AISA is the longest-standing meeting of scholars on indigenous studies in the United States. A diverse set of topics were discussed over the course of the conference and drew scholars from all over the country. I presented a paper from a recent seminar class on visual sovereignty, where I analyzed an indigenous gaze in the photographing of cultural objects (particularly those held by museums and in private collections). Although not part of my main research, as an artist, I do hope in the future to continue finding ways to intersect my art and educational research interests, and found much encouragement at this meeting.

Presentation at History of Education Society

Academics, Presentations

Following a great experience at the Western History Association in October, I traveled further north to Seattle to participate in the History of Education Society meeting November 1-4, 2012. Another first for me, traveling to Seattle, I did take some time to explore the downtown despite drizzly pacific northwest weather (confession: I grew up in the PNW, and I LOVE the weather!).

Probably the smallest conference I have attended, HES was really enjoyable. With less sessions happening at one time, I began to see the same people at sessions through out the weekend and got to attend sessions much further afield than my research areas, which was a lot of fun.

I had some great co-presenters, all of whom pushed the boundaries of historical research on indigenous education history. The final published version of my research on Piper v. Big Pine School District of Inyo County can be found by clicking here.


Western History Association Conference

Academics, Presentations

This year, I got to spend my birthday sharing my research on the CA State Supreme Court case, Piper v. Big Pine School District of Inyo County (published work found here) with a great audience at the 51st annual meeting of the Western History Association in Denver, Colorado. It was my first trip to Colorado and I got to share the weekend with my Native American Studies colleague Angel Hinzo, spend time with our program coordinator Stella Mancillas, and get wonderful dialogue and discussion with historian Dr. Charles Roberts. We even got snowed on! (Okay, it was just little flurries, but it was cold!)

Thank you to my wonderful colleagues and friends for sharing a fun weekend talking about history, education history, and history education!

Special thanks to Drs. Charles Roberts and William Bauer who participated in my organized session “Settler Influences and California Indian Education”; and thanks to the audience who included Angel Hinzo, Stella Mancillas, Dr. David Wallace Adams, Dr. Margaret Connell-Szasz, and Dr. Cathleen Cahill for your attention, kind encouragements, and support.

Paper accepted at 12th International Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations Conference

Academics, Presentations

Following my Vancouver, B.C. adventures in the Spring, I have been accepted into the 12th International Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations Conference, also being held in Vancouver this Summer. Unfortunately (but not unfortunately), I was also accepted into a professional development opportunity that will greatly benefit me for my dissertation during this same time. This is solved by being a “virtual” presenter, sharing my paper for the conference, but unable to attend and visit again my neighbors to the north.

The First Nations and Indigenous Peoples stream looked especially rich and I am glad to have the opportunity to learn about the authors and work happening all over the world!

My conference entry, “Federal unenrollment impacts on scholar careers: A study on indigneous identity in academia” is linked here:



AERA 2012 gathering in Vancouver, BC

Academics, Presentations

This year marks my third year participating in the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting, and my second time as a presenting author. First, the location was absolutely incredible. Despite living in the West my whole life, the only part of Canada that I previously visited was Montreal. The sparkling blue waterways and snow-capped mountains of Vancouver in British Colombia were stunning! Sources say that the sunny mid-seventies weather was unseasonably perfect as well.

Beyond the beauty of the landscape, this year’s meeting had a distinct indigenous presence. The opening plenary session featured Decolonizing Methodologies author Linda T. Smith and opening and closing prayers and songs with local indigenous graduate students and community members. A number of sessions featured indigenous scholars sharing important work happening across Indian Country.

Besides attending a number of great sessions, I presented in two. Like in 2011, I presented on ongoing work based on my graduate student researcher position. We took advantage of AERA’s new session type called ‘structured poster sessions’ to develop several posters focused on different aspects of our 5-year mathematics formative assessment NSF research and development grant. We had a large conference room that allowed us time to each speak to attendees about the work and then break out into small groups surrounding each poster for more individualized Q&A. Additionally, I had the pleasure of presenting my own research for the first time. My paper described my nearly complete M.A. research on indigenous scholar identity construction. I received great feedback for focusing the analysis and enjoyed the opportunity to begin engaging fellow educational scholars in dialogues about work that is very dear to me.

The final piece of news comes from the business meeting of the special interest group for indigenous peoples of the americas – it was approved that the program chair would work with two graduate assistants on the 2013 program. Over the next year, I will learn more about the process of structuring the conference sessions based on papers accepted by external reviewers. I am looking forward to 2013 already!