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November 21, 2016

Apply Now to the Sapsik’wala Education Project!!!





























November 18, 2016

Native DuckFund is Live! Click, Contribute, and Share Today!!!


It is with great pleasure that we announce that the Native Duck Fund crowdsourcing campaign is now live!

The Native Duck Fund is a professional development fund for Native Image result for University of Oregon Native DuckAmerican students at the University of Oregon. Students have access to various financial aid programs to help cover tuition, fees, and cost of living while attending the University of Oregon, but they often encounter financial roadblocks to professional development opportunities, such as conferences, academic competitions, and other meritorious work that would significantly enhance their career goals. Because Native American poverty rates are nearly double the poverty rate of the general US population, expenses such as conference fees and travel costs for research or internship opportunities often prove prohibitive for students to overcome. This fund would support Native students seeking to develop a career in any field by assisting with the cost of supplies, equipment, and travel related expenses to attend and compete in academic competitions.

While we are already over halfway to our goal of $10,000 goal, we encourage you to click on the link, contribute, and share this announcement widely across all your networks and social media. Links to share on Facebook and Twitter are available on the website:

Please consider making a donation to support Native American students!  Nkena!

With warm regards,

Brian Klopotek and Jason Younker

Co-Directors of the Native Duck Fund


Brian Klopotek

Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies

Native American Studies minor, program director


Jason Younker

Assistant Vice President

Advisor to the President on Tribal Sovereignty and Government-to-Government Relations


October 31, 2016

New NAS Course: Reacting to the Past, “Forest Diplomacy: War, Peace, and Land on the Colonial Frontier” and “Red Clay: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty”

Got Game?  Come play with us in a Reacting to the Past course and experience an immersive way of learning described as “subversive playworlds” characterized by competition, pretend/make-believe, subversion of authority, absurdity, and fun by Mark Carnes—the creator of RTTP!

You are invited to attend a catered and interactive information session to learn about the Reacting to the Past games that will be played in winter and spring terms.  Meet and talk with former students who will share their experiences playing particular characters, including strategies of negotiation, diplomacy, deceit, espionage, and the occasional bribe and assassination!  They will also be happy to relate how their factions either vanquished their rivals, or failed to achieve their victory objectives. Reacting to the Past faculty will also explain their roles as “game masters” rather than traditional instructors, and describe how students (performing their roles) run the class sessions once the games begin!

The following Native Studies course/game will be highlighted at the information session:

Winter 2017:

CAS 101H – Forest Diplomacy: War, Peace, and Land on the Colonial Frontier, 1756-57 and Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty (Kevin Hatfield)

These exciting courses offer several opportunities:

  • small-enrollment (25 students) allows students to get to know their professors
  • CAS 101H earns credit for general education Social Science Group Requirement
  • CAS 101H can count toward some minors/majors with petition (e.g. History)
  • role-playing games inspire students’ imagination and creativity

Please email me at if you have any questions.


October 13, 2016

Funding Opportunity: Native Arts and Cultures Foundation – Call for Mentor Fellows

New funding opportunity for traditional or visual artists of American Indian or Alaska Native descent, via the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. I am attaching a color flyer that can also help spread the word about this wonderful, $30,000 award for Native master and emerging artists:

NACF’s new Mentor Fellowship program will award accomplished American Indian and Alaska Native artists to mentor emerging artists in the Traditional Arts or Contemporary Visual Arts categories. The program’s goal is to improve creative development, artistic rigor, and intergenerational cultural and traditional knowledge perpetuation by fostering the growth of Native artist mentors and apprentices, and empowering them to play an integral role in their communities.

Eligibility: Must be a 5-year resident, and enrolled Native citizen of a tribe, located in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Southern California (San Luis Obispo, Kern, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial Counties), Arizona, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North or South Dakota.

Apply now at Applications are due by November 22, 2016, at 5:00 pmPacific Time.

Please direct any questions about this program to our Program Director Francene



October 5, 2016

Open Letter of Support to Standing Rock Protectors, Oceti Sakowin, and Sacred Stone Camp

July 14, 2016

Chinuk Wawa Language Classes @ Lane Community College and UO Native Studies Minor

Please find attached the poster for the Fall 2016 Chinuk Wawa classes at Lane Community College, in effective support of which many of you generously spoke and wrote and stood this last May. Thanks, again, UO colleagues! You helped save Chinuk Wawa at Lane!

Students who complete CW 101 and 102 or CW 201 and 202 will receive a full tuition refund for CW 103 or CW 203, respectively. This was made possible under the terms of an anonymous donation to the Lane Foundation.

In addition to satisfying language requirements for the UO Native Studies Minor, many UO students can also benefit by enrolling in the the Lane/U-O Dual Enrollment Program, which still has no application fee. The deadline for Dual Enrollment applications is three weeks before the start of classes for Fall term.

Students should also know that should they experience registration problems for the class, they’re still welcome to attend and register in person. They’ll find help with registration in the LCC Longhouse (every Monday and Wednesday from 4 – 5:50) as soon as classes start in the fall.


November 3, 2015

Native American Heritage Month Events!

NA Heritage Month Poster

October 23, 2015

9th Annual
Rennard Strickland Lecture

Sovereign is He Who Decides on the Exception: 
Tribal Jurisdiction, the Supreme Court, and Racially Constructed
Reservation Environments

Professor Robert A. Williams, Jr., 
E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Chair,
Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
at The University of Arizona College of Law

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015
5:30 p.m., Room 110

William W. Knight Law Center
1515 Agate Street
University of Oregon

Free and open to the public
Reception immediately to follow

Robert A. Williams, Jr. is the E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Chair of the University of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. Professor Williams received his B.A. from Loyola College (1977) and his J.D. from Harvard Law School (1980). He was named the first Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (2003-2004), having previously served there as Bennet Boskey Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Law.

The 2006 recipient of the University of Arizona Koffler Prize for Outstanding Accomplishments in Public Service, Professor Williams has received major grants and awards from the Soros Senior Justice Fellowship Program of the Open Society Institute, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the National Institute of Justice. He has represented tribal groups and members before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, the United States Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Professor Williams has served as Chief Justice for the Court of Appeals, Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, and as Justice for the Court of Appeals and trial judge pro tem for the Tohono O’odham Nation. He was named one of 2011’s “Heroes on the Hill” by Indian Country Today for his human rights advocacy work as Lead Counsel for the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group of Canada before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Professor Williams is the author of The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest (1990), which received the Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Center Award as one of the outstanding books published in 1990 on the subject of prejudice in the United States. He has also written Linking Arms Together: American Indian Treaty Visions of Law and Peace, 1600-1800 (1997) and Like a Loaded Weapon: The Rehnquist Court, Indian Rights and the Legal History of Racism in America (2005). He is co-author of Federal Indian Law: Cases and Materials (6th ed., with David Getches, Charles Wilkinson, and Matthew Fletcher, 2011). His latest book is Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization (Palgrave Macmillan 2012).

Sponsored by:
The Environmental & Natural Resources Law Center
The Wayne Morse Center for Law & Politics
Student Legal Advocates for Tribal Sovereignty
Native American Students Union

October 13, 2015

Open Letter to University of Oregon Athletics and Nike: Pioneer Uniforms Celebrate Violence and Alienate Oregon Tribes

October 13, 2015


An Open Letter to the University of Oregon Athletics Department and Nike:


As a coalition of Native faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members, and allies from the campus community and across the state, we write to express our disappointment in the October 10th debut of Nike’s pioneer-themed uniforms for the University of Oregon home game against Washington State.


According to Nike’s press release, the new uniforms are intended to “emphasize Oregon state history” and honor the “Maverick heritage … embodied by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark,” “trailblazers” of innovation, free-thinking and risk-taking that defines Oregon state history.[1]  The westward expansion of the United States, however, was rooted not in transcendent, universal values but in White supremacy, a sense of divine obligation of free White men to take—by force if necessary—the land belonging to the non-White nations west of the Mississippi.  The history of genocidal violence, ethnic cleansing, and exclusion of non-Whites that followed in Oregon is well documented.  But instead of condemning this process, the celebration of Lewis and Clark valorizes it, papering over the ongoing consequences of colonization and Indigenous traditions of “exploration,” “innovation,” “free-thinking” and “risk-taking” that existed in this place long before the expedition arrived at the Pacific coast.


As UO alum and Grand Ronde tribal member David Lewis notes, the celebration of U.S. expansionism as an unmitigated historical and moral good is at odds not only with history but also with recent efforts by the University to strengthen relations to Oregon’s Nine Federally Recognized Tribes and to better support Indigenous faculty, staff, and students on campus.[2] They also undermine the considerable time and effort Nike has expended over the past few years developing the Native-inspired N7 product line. Upon public dissent from tribal peoples following Nike’s announcement, the University initiated steps in the lead-up to Saturday’s game to address these disconnects, including the addition of a helmet decal meant to represent Indigenous peoples in the Oregon and the nine sovereign tribal governments, as well as public address and television copy that explicitly acknowledged the ongoing presence of tribal peoples in the state. Such efforts, however, give the impression that the Nine Tribes endorse the pioneer theme, or that a simple acknowledgment of Native presence as an afterthought adequately addresses the more substantive issue of the public face of the flagship institution in the state celebrating the violent, at times genocidal, practices of conquest in the region.


We would like to reframe this event as a teaching moment that might productively acknowledge the monumental significance of the expedition/invasion by embracing and representing all of the communities which were and continue to be impacted by it. We thus encourage the Athletics Department and Nike to act swiftly to remove the uniforms from future use and recall all “special edition” paraphernalia from retail stores.  We further suggest that the Athletics Department and Nike refrain from any future celebrations of what remains a contested history, and conduct meaningful consultation with tribes and administrative and academic officials earlier in project development in order to avoid future missteps. By openly and critically acknowledging how words, actions, thoughts, representations, and policies affect one another, we can begin to bring our communities together around shared histories of experience that draw us all into relationship.


On behalf of Native Strategic Initiatives, University of Oregon,


Kirby Brown, English (Cherokee Nation)

Brian Klopotek, Ethnic Studies (Choctaw)

Jennifer O’Neal, University of Oregon Libraries (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde)

Melina Pastos, Office of Academic Advising (Flathead Descendant)

Leilani Sabzalian, PhD Candidate, College of Education (Alutiiq)

Angie Morrill, Alum (Klamath Tribes)

Scott Pratt, Philosophy






October 9, 2015

University of Oregon Future Stewards Program!!!

The Graduate School of the University of Oregon is pleased to announce the Future Stewards Program, designed in cooperation with the office of the Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President on Sovereignty and Government to Government Relations.  The program will provide an opportunity to work with the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon to help to make graduate education more accessible for their members.  It is our hope that tribal members who have earned graduate degrees at the University of Oregon will be able to return home to become stewards of their communities who will support their traditional culture, foster educational opportunities, and promote economic development.

The University of Oregon Graduate School will provide up to two years (six regular terms) of tuition support for students in masters, or doctoral programs.  Doctoral students may use their waivers to support terms without teaching during the two year eligibility period.

To be eligible to receive a tuition waiver award (worth approximately $17,500), the student’s tribe will agree to pay mandatory student fees (about $600 per term) and provide health insurance and a stipend to support other costs of attendance.

In Academic Year 2015-16, waiver awards will be available only to current UO students (with the required tribal support).  Beginning in Academic Year 2016-17, priority will be given to new students to the University of Oregon. Tuition support will be awarded for three terms during the regular academic year. Up to five awards will be made each academic year.

To be eligible a student must be admitted to a graduate program at the University of Oregon.   To be considered, the student will need to submit a waiver award application and include both a statement of academic purpose (describing her or his interests and academic plan) and a letter of support from her or his tribe confirming tribal support (including the amounts to be provided for fees, insurance, and stipend).  Transcripts and letters of recommendation provided through the admission process will also be reviewed.  Review and selection will be conducted by a committee consisting of the Dean of the Graduate School, the Assistant Vice President, and one other faculty member.

In Academic Year 2015-16, applicants for support will be asked to submit their applications materials by December 1 for to request fall term tuition support.  Students may apply for winter tuition support by December 1 and Spring tuition support by February 1.  Students who receive an award for Academic Year 2015-16 may request up to three more terms of tuition support for Academic Year 2016-17.

Applications for Academic Year 2016-17 funding will be due on or before April 1.  If funding remains after initial awards are made, a second round of applications will be considered with a September 1 deadline.

For more information contact Jason Younker, Assistant Vice President ( or Scott L. Pratt, Dean of the Graduate School (

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