Indigenous Intersections Symposium

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Thursday, March 21st, 2019

Thursday, March 21, 20199:00AM - 5:00PMThe Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
1 Devonshire Place,
Toronto, ON
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INDIGENOUS INTERSECTIONS explores indigeneity as a category of identity with specific attention to the U.S. context. Through invited keynote lectures, panel presentations, and critical discussion inviting audience participation, this symposium interrogates the following questions: How does indigeneity intersect with race, gender, and sexuality? As significant numbers of indigenous peoples from Latin America migrate to the United States, how does indigeneity shift across the borders of settler states? How can Native Americans, Indigenous migrants, and communities of color (not mutually exclusive categories) support each other’s projects of sovereignty and decolonization?

Invited Speakers:

María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo
Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University, author of Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States (2016) and The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development (2003)

Beginning with her seminal essay “Who’s the Indian in Aztlán? Rewriting Mestizaje, Indianism, and Chicanismo from the Lacandón,” Professor Saldaña-Portillo has been at the forefront of re-thinking Chicanx-Native American relations in the United States. Her most recent monograph, Indian Given, winner of the 2016 Best Book Award from the National Association of Chicano and Chicana Studies, examines the long and continued significance of British and Spanish colonial racialized notions of place.

Brian Klopotek
Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Native American Studies Program Coordinator, University of Oregon, author of Recognition Odysseys: Indigeneity, Race, and Federal Tribal Recognition Policy in Three Louisiana Indian Communities (2011), co-editor (with Brenda Child) of Indian Subjects: Hemispheric Perspectives on the History of Indigenous Education (2014), and author of the forthcoming Indian on Both Sides: Indigenous Identities, Race, and National Borders.

Professor Klopotek’s pathbreaking 2011 interdisciplinary ethnography Recognition Odysseys explores the central role race plays in federal processes of tribal recognition. Turning his attention to the U.S.-Mexico border in his forthcoming monograph Indian on Both Sides, Professor Klopotek examines the continuing significance of race in determining who counts as Indigenous in the United States.

Andrew Jolivétte
Professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University, author of numerous volumes including Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community (2016) and Louisiana Creoles: Cultural Recovery and Mixed Race Native American Identity (2007); editor of Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority (2012).

Located at the intersections of Indigenous studies, queer studies, mixed-race studies, and public health, Professor Jolivétte’s 2016 monograph Indian Blood, a Lamda Literary Award finalist, explores the long impact of colonial trauma on two-spirited, mixed-race Native people as well as possibilities for healing and decolonization. Professor Jolivétte’s varied, illustrious career has included serving as Executive Director of the American Indian Community Cultural Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Indigenous Peoples’ Representative at the United Nations Forum on HIV and the Law in 2011, and Tribal Historian for the Atakapa-Ishak Nation from 2008-2011.

Indigenous Intersections Symposium Schedule

9:00-9:30am – Coffee Reception
9:30-10:00am – Introduction: Intersections of Indigeneity, Race, Gender, and Identity in the Americas – Jedediah Kuhn, University of Toronto
10:00-11:00am – Andrew Jolivétte, San Francisco State University
11:00-11:30am – Question and Answer with moderator Rinaldo Walcott, University of Toronto
11:30am-1:00pm – Lunch Break
1:00-1:45pm – Brian Klopotek, University of Oregon
1:45-2:15pm – Question and Answer with moderator Jedediah Kuhn, University of Toronto
2:15-3:00pm – María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, New York University
3:00-3:30pm – Question and Answer with moderator Nicholas Sammond, University of Toronto
3:30-4:00pm – Coffee Break
4:00-5:00pm – Roundtable Discussion with Professors Saldaña-Portillo, Klopotek, and Jolivétte – Moderated by Jedediah Kuhn, University of Toronto


María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo
Professor, Social and Cultural Analysis and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University

Brian Klopotek
Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies and Native American Studies Program Coordinator, University of Oregon

Andrew Jolivétte
Professor, American Indian Studies, San Francisco State University

Main Sponsor

Centre for the Study of the United States


Bissel-Heyd Fellowship in American Studies

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