J. Kehaulani Kauanui, associate professor of American studies, associate professor of anthropology, attended the first Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference on May 21-23 in Minneapolis, Minn. More than 600 scholars from 16 countries and dozens of tribal nations exchanged research ideas and gave each other professional support.
Kauanui is a founding steering committee member and is currently acting council of NAISA.
Since 1969, American Indian studies has developed across the United States and Canada. Currently there are almost 120 American Indian studies programs and departments in the North America, not counting the 32 tribal colleges; among those, 47 offer baccalaureate majors. With this growth has come a proportionate increase in the number of scholars researching related topics, variously called American Indian, Native American, First Nations, aboriginal and indigenous studies.
NAISA developed from two meetings, the first at the University of Oklahoma, Norman in May 2007, and the second at the Institute of Native American Studies at the University of Georgia in April 2008. At the 2008 meeting, registered attendees voted to ratify a constitution and bylaws for the new association