Sarah Rivett, NAISIP receive Humanities Council exploratory grant for working group, foundational programming

Written by
Sarah Malone, Program in American Studies
Dec. 17, 2020

A Humanities Council Exploratory Grant in Collaborative Humanities awarded to Professor of English and American Studies Sarah Rivett for the 2021-22 academic year enables the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Princeton (NAISIP) to launch a working group of faculty, staff, and students across disciplines and departments including the University art museum and library, and to develop foundational programming.

“I am delighted by the Humanities Council’s generous support for building Native American and Indigenous studies at Princeton,” Rivett said. “In addition to facilitating programming for the 2021-22 academic year, the grant will support the continued growth of this essential cross-disciplinary field in collaboration with the goals of Natives at Princeton and the Princeton Indigenous Advocacy Coalition.”

Rivett’s collaboration with undergraduate groups, Native American Alumni of Princeton, and the interdisciplinary graduate student group Princeton American Indian and Indigenous Studies Working Group (PAIISWG) coalesced over the past year into NAISIP as a founding coalition of affiliates who launched a website hub for Indigenous studies scholarship, research and community. The website, created and managed in partnership with the Program in American Studies, currently represents more than 20 academic units and 50 Princetonians including faculty, staff and undergraduate and graduate students.

Through developing partnerships with Indigenous communities, the new NAISIP working group aims to develop best practices for Native American and Indigenous studies at Princeton.

Humanities Council support for Indigenous studies programming in recent years includes a Magic Grant to fund the April 2019 PAIISWG conference Indigenous/Settler, which brought together scholars and activists to engage with the question of Native studies evolving across settler institutions. The council’s Program in Canadian Studies hosted a 2018 symposium featuring scholars, journalists and activists discussing Indigenous communities and climate change.

In 2021-22, with the support of the council grant, NAISIP will offer lectures with Native scholars, artists and activists, and programming including on Lenape/Lunaape language, Indigenous pedagogy, decolonizing the archive, and storytelling and environmental change in Siberia and the American Arctic.