CFP: Indigenous Survivance and Resilience in the age of COVID-19

22nd Annual American Indian Studies Association Conference

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ/USA

February 2-4, 2022

Deadline: November 15, 2021

As we continue to live in our new pandemic reality, we are mindful of our people’s and communities’ resilience. COVID-19 disproportionately affected American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribal communities due to health disparities and limited access to healthcare across Indian Country. Tribal peoples and communities responded and sought to prevent the spread, many locked down and closed their borders. Others passed mask mandates and put school and work online for their communities’ safety. Despite these precautions, COVID-19 surges resulted in the loss of family and community members, including elders and cultural knowledge keepers. Our communities will never be the same.

In addition to the pandemic, our Indigenous existence and right to live remains under assault. This past year, Keystone XL Pipeline, owned by TC Energy, halted all pipeline construction after a decades-long battle against Indigenous nations and allies. This hard won victory is owed to Indigenous peoples, nations, and allies fighting on the ground and in the courts. However, the work is not done. There is a call to action to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 in northern Minnesota across the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac Reservations. Line 3 is not just detrimental to Indigneous communities and lands, but to the larger state and region. The environmental impact of this pipeline will be disastrous.

As Indigenous peoples face loss of life, our erasure continues within the educational system. Nationally, there has been a push back against the teaching of Critical Race Theory, including Indigenous Studies, because it is perceived as anti-American. Tribal nations and educators are responding by pushing back. For example, tribal nations in Montana have sued the state for the removal and teaching of their history and culture from K-12 education.

What does Indigenous survivance and resilience look like in a contemporary context? How have communities responded to COVID-19? What cultural practices or knowledge systems returned to their communities? How are educators working to ensure the inclusion of Indigenous history into mainstream curriculum? What are people, especially youth, doing to advance and protect their communities?

We welcome panel proposals and individual submissions from colleagues working in tribal programs and non-profit organizations, tribal colleges and universities, community and grassroots organizers, and students and faculty at all levels in American Indian/Native American Studies and related fields of study.

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