Skip to main content

CNAIR support propels student careers forward

pictures of Lois Biggs, Bonne Etherington and Alissa Baker
Lois Biggs, Bonne Etherington and Alissa Baker

Support from the Northwestern University’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) is helping students advance their careers, through funding for research and other support.

Over the past year, CNAIR has given fellowships to­ 10 undergraduates, four graduates and three faculty members. Center affiliates now teach 19 courses with Indigenous content.

Lois Biggs, an art history and comparative literary studies double major, received a Fulbright-University of Leeds Award. She is working on an honors thesis on embodied place-making practices and decolonization at the Indigenous occupation of Alcatraz in 1969-71, and Algerian protests in Paris in 1961 during the Algerian War. CNAIR has funded her work with an undergraduate research award.

Bonne Etherington will begin her post-doctoral fellowship in environmental humanities at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in August. She is a presidential fellow and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English.

Her dissertation examines Indigenous protest literatures from Oceania, by writers who build solidarity using poetry, performance and art to address the challenges of climate change and environmental catastrophe caused by colonialism in the Pacific. CNAIR has provided a space for mentoring in Indigenous Studies, and Indigenous responses to climate change.

Alissa Baker will be an assistant professor in the psychology and counseling department at Northeastern State University starting in August. Her work has focused on how language affects the way we learn about nature. She is president of Colloquium on Indigeneity and Native American Studies at Northwestern. She was a CNAIR fellow in 2018. 

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to have provided financial support and to have extended the fellowship and community that helped them grow their confidence,” said CNAIR co-director Patty Loew. “We’re so proud of them. They’re going to do amazing things in their careers and how lucky for us that we had a front row seat in watching their research mature.”