The mission of the American Indian Studies Department is to educate, inspire, and prepare students for engaged careers and/or graduate school and to be an educational hub and site for community participation and learning focused on the Indigenous peoples of the northern Americas.



Joanne Barker, Professor and Chair


News and Announcements

AIS Red Tawks Spring 2021 (pdf)


All events will be conducted via Zoom. Attendees must register. Please see information below for more information.


Food Sovereignty: A Discussion in Honor of Jessica Mae Orozco -- Tuesday, March 2 -- 4:00-5:30 pm PST -- Cassandra Freeman (Spirit Lake Sioux), Co-Founder/Owner of Anatolian Farms in Southwest Colorado, Cultivating Organic Hemp and Vegetables (B.A. in AIS at SFSU, 2012). -- Melissa K. Nelson (Anishinaabe/Mé​tis [Turtle Mountain Chippewa]), Professor of Indigenous Sustainability, School of Sustainability, College of Global Futures, Arizona State University (AIS faculty 2002-2020). Contributor and editor, Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability (2018).


Indigenous Governance and Abolition -- Thursday, April 22 -- 11:00-12:15 pm PST -- Shiri Pasternak, Research Director at Yellowhead Institute and Assistant Professor in Criminology at Ryerson University. Her book, Grounded Authority, is an in-depth critique of the federal land claims policy in Canada from the perspective of Algonquin law, and was published in 2017. She writes about resource extraction, Crown-First Nations fiscal relations, and legal problems of colonialism.


This World is a Wound -- Thursday, April 29 -- 4:00-5:30 pm PST -- Billy-Ray Belcourt, Billy-Ray Belcourt is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. A 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, he earned his PhD in English at the University of Alberta. He was also a 2016 Rhodes Scholar and holds an M.St. in Women's Studies from the University of Oxford and Wadham College. In the First Nations Youth category, Belcourt was awarded a 2019 Indspire Award, which is the highest honor the Indigenous community bestows on its own leaders.


Registration: All events will be conducted via Zoom. Attendees must register. 

For more information, contact Gabriela Segovia-McGahan, (415) 405-3928, at gsegovia@sfsu.edu or Joanne Barker, Professor and Chair of American Indian Studies, at jmbarker@sfsu.edu.



Spring 2021 


Apply through AcademicWorks: https://sfsu.academicworks.com. 


Applications Open: January 20 

Applications Close: March 1 




Must identify as a Native American, which refers to a status of legal citizenship and/or cultural affiliation in an American Indian tribe or Alaska Native band. 


Must be a currently enrolled, full-time student (undergraduate or graduate). 


Must maintain satisfactory academic standing, to be evaluated primarily but not only by gpa.  A minimum gpa of 3.0 is strongly recommended. 


One to five awards given each semester. Minimum award is $250.00. 


Contact for more Information 


Joanne Barker, Professor and Chair, American Indian Studies (jmbarker@sfsu.edu)



FORTHCOMING PUBLICATION: Joanne Barker, The Red Scare: The State's Indigenous Terrorist (American Studies Now Series. Lisa Duggan and Curtis Marez, eds. University of California Press). Expected Fall 2021.


NEW CD: Paul Steward and his father, as the band Twice as Good, have released a CD with original music, Double Down. You can listen here.



All of the available AIS Red Tawks are on the AIS Red Tawks YouTube channel, including

  • The 50th from the Perspective of Alaska Native Studies: A Roundtable Discussion
  • The 50th from the Perspective of this Place: A Workshop on Land Acknowledgement
  • The 50th from the Perspective of Alcatraz: LaNada War Jack
  • Missing and Murdered: Violence Against Indigenous Women and Children in California
  • From Alcatraz to Mauna Kea: The 50th from the Future of Us

Congratulations to the Fall 2020 Johnet Scholarship for Native Americans Recipients


Jacob Adams, Educational Leadership Com-EDD

Enrolled Member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and descendant of Skokomish Nation and Squaxin Island Tribe


Kristi Lozinto, Dietetics: Diet & Nutr Sci-BS

Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians tribal member


Cash Martinez, Journalism (Print & Online)-BA

Southern Pomo (Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria)


CONGRATULATIONS: John-Carlos Perea's book chapter, "Native 'Noise' and the Politcs of Powwow Musicking in a University Soundscape," is part of an edited collection, Music and Modernity among First Peoples of North America, that has won the 2020 Ellen Koskoff Prize for Edited Collections from the Society for Ethnomusicology.



NEW PUBLICATION: John-Carlos Perea, “Music in Native America: The Intertribal Powwow.” In Global Music Cultures, eds. Bonnie C. Wade and Patricia Sheehan Campbell. New York: Oxford University Press.


Invited Research Presentation: John-Carlos Perea, “Encounters with Ethnomusicologists: Teaching Music/Teaching Culture.”

World Music Pedagogy Professional Development Webinar Series. October 17, 2020.


Invited Conference Roundtable Presentation: John-Carlos Perea, “Navig​ating a Path toward Tenure: Focus on Underrepresented Minorities.”

Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Sponsored by the SEM Diversity Action Committee and the SEM Board.


RADIO: Check out Prof. Eddie Madril as one of the local hosts of the Bay Native Circle on KPFA.



NEW PODCAST: Roger Kuhn, Unsettling Eros & Decolonizing Sexuality (2020)

with the Queer Spirit Community.



NEW PUBLICATION: Joanne Barker, guest editor, Indigeneity, Feminism, Activism, special issue of American Indian Culture and Research Journal 43(3).