2022 Fall Event

Join us for our Fall 2022 events celebrating our first 50 years.

Monday, October 10th: Celebration of the American Indian Studies 50th Anniversary  


Join members of the American Indian Studies community to remember and reflect on the first fifty years of American Indian Studies while envisioning the program’s future. This celebratory event will feature a panel of past American Indian Studies directors, student research posters, and conversation. 

Panel Members: 

Ada Deer

Ada Deer, AIS Director 2000-2007

Ada Deer was the first member of the Menominee Nation, and first American Indian woman, to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning her degree in Social Work in 1957.  

Ada’s degree from the University of Wisconsin helped her to organize at the grassroots level to fight for Menominee Restoration throughout the 1960s. 

Ada was the first American Indian woman to run for Congress in Wisconsin, paving the way for numerous other women in Wisconsin and beyond. She would also go on to lead the Bureau of Indian Affairs, an appointment made by President Bill Clinton, inaugurating her term as the first woman to hold this post while setting federal policy for over 550 federally recognized tribes. 

Eventually, Ada made her way back to the University of Wisconsin where she would serve as director of American Indian Studies, once again becoming a mentor and role model for countless American Indian students and members of the larger campus community. 

Paul NadasdyPaul Nadasdy, AIS Director 2007-2008

Paul Nadasdy is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at Cornell University. Over his career, Paul has worked to build community with and conduct ethnographic research in Canada’s Yukon Territory, work that he has been committed to since the mid-1990s.  

 Paul is the author of Sovereignty’s Entailments: First Nation State Formation in the Yukon and Hunters and Bureaucrats: Power, Knowledge, and Aboriginal-State Relations in the Southwest Yukon. He also co-edited Knowing Nature: Conversations at the Intersection of Political Ecology and Social Science with M. Goldman and M. Turner.  

 Paul’s research focuses on the politics that envelop the production and use of environmental knowledge in wildlife management, land claim negotiations, as well as other political arenas. 


Larry NesperLarry Nesper, AIS Director 2018-2018

Larry Nesper received his Ph.D.from the University of Chicago before arriving at the University of Wisconsin where he was a Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies prior to his recent retirement.  

Larry is the author of Walleye Wars: The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and served as co-editor of Tribal Worlds: Critical Studies in American Indian Nation Building 

Larry’s research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and tribal nations across the state of Wisconsin.  

Student Research Posters: 

  • Linnea Hjelm: Linnea is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Human Ecology’s Civil Society and Community Research program. 
  • Joseph Jean: Joseph is a Ph.D. student in the School of Human Ecology’s Civil Society and Community Research program. 
  • Diana Peterson: Diana is Ph.D. candidate in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies program.  
  •  Elinor Picek: Elinor is a junior at UW majoring in Theater and French with a certificate in Folklore. After graduation, Elinor plans to move to Los Angeles to work in costumes and props. 
  • Shiqi Shen: Shiqi is a Ph.D. student in the School of Human Ecology’s Civil Society and Community Research program. 

Thursday, October 13th: Indigenous EcoWell Bead Exhibition  



Ongoing Exhibition

 Sifting & Reckoning: UW-Madison’s History of Exclusion and Resistance