Co-Directors

Laurie Arnold (Colville) is director of Native American Studies and assistant professor of history at Gonzaga University in Spokane. Arnold is an enrolled member of the Sinixt band of the Colville Confederated Tribes and grew up on the Colville Reservation. Her monograph, Bartering with the Bones of Their Dead: The Colville Confederated Tribes and Termination, is a federal Indian policy history written from a community orientation. As director of Native American Studies at Gonzaga, Arnold teaches about Plateau tribes and U.S. and Native American history, and also develops programs and partnerships to enhance knowledge about the Columbia Plateau, particularly the Indigenous Plateau. Arnold’s previous appointments include the University of Notre Dame and the Newberry Library’s D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies. As Associate Director at the McNickle Center, Arnold co-organized the Lannan Summer Institute for Tribal College Teachers, a two-week session that focused on research and content development for Native American topic courses. Arnold also visited several of the NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes operated by the Newberry Library each year during her tenure there.

Christopher Leise teaches multi-ethnic literatures of the U.S., including American Indian literatures, at Whitman College. His scholarly work focuses on origin myths and nationalist discourses; a recent book examining popular misconceptions of colonial New England in modern America, The Story upon a Hill: Myths of Puritanism in Contemporary American Fiction, was published by the University of Alabama Press in 2017. Leise has organized numerous events on Whitman's campus and in the Walla Walla region focusing on drawing greater attention to Native American voices in the telling of Columbia Plateau history, and he has an essay forthcoming on Columbia River dams in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment. His experience teaching Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) literary history to students on the Indigenous Plateau will prove  useful  for teachers who want to modify the Institute’s content for peoples from areas outside the Inland Northwest.

Institute Faculty

Roger Amerman is a Park Ranger with the U.S. National Park Service as well as a highly accomplished Native American beadwork artist that competes throughout the western United States.  He was the featured Master Artist at the exhibit “Rekindled: Contemporary Southeast Beadwork,” December 2016 thru November 2017, AH-TAH-THI-KI Museum, Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, Clewiston, FL; Cultural Interpreter and Master Artist presentation of Choctaw beadwork art, male apparel, and traditional design to an international audience at “Choctaw Days” Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C., Recipient of the prestigious Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) “Fellowship Award” (March 2007, Santa Fe, NN). Only 6 outstanding Native artists in North America are selected each year.

Katrine Barber is Associate Professor of History at Portland State University, specializing in the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia River, and public history.She is author and co-author of several books and articles, including Nature’s Northwest: The North Pacific Slope in the Twentieth Century (with William Robbins), University of Arizona Press, 2011; Death of Celilo Falls, University of Washington Press, published as part of the Emil and Kathleen Sick Lecture Book series in Western History and Biography, 2005; and Decolonizing Sustainability: Students, Teachers, and Indigenous University Partnerships, with Donna Sinclair, accepted for publication as part of the PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions book series through Greenleaf Publishing.

Larry Cebula is Professor of History at Eastern Washington University, specializing in American Indian History, the history of the U.S. West, and public history.  He is the author of Plateau Indians and the Quest for the Spirit Power, 1700-1850, University of Nebraska Press, 2003 and founded and developed Spokane Historical, a smartphone app and website for local and regional history, produced collaboratively with EWU students: SpokaneHistorical.org. He also publishes Northwest History, a blog about digital, public, and western history, which won the 2008 Cliopatria Award for “Best Individually Authored History Blog.”

Brian Collier is a historian and faculty member in the Alliance for Catholic Education at University of Notre Dame, teaching the history of education and American Indian Education. He also chairs the Western History Association’s Committee on Teaching.  His publications include College Student Voices on Educational Reform: Challenging and Changing Conversations, Burke, Kevin, Brian S Collier, Maria McKenna, Palgrave, 2013; “Teaching the American West,” Journal of the West 49.3 (Summer 2010): 8-9, with Lindsey Passenger Wieck; and “‘To Bring Honor to My Village’: Steve Gachupin, the Community of Jemez Ceremony Running, and the Pikes Peak Marathon,” Journal of the West 46.4 (Fall 2007): 62-71.

Roberta Conner (Cayuse) is Director of Tamástslikt Cultural Institute. She is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Museum of the American Indian and a contributor to Lewis and Clark Through Indian Eyes.  Her publications also include Čáw Pawá Láakni, They Are Not Forgotten, Sahaptian Place Names Atlas of the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla, Hunn et. al., Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, 2015; Administrator, co-editor, contributor, Enough Good People: Reflections on Tribal Involvement and Inter-Cultural Collaboration, 2003-2006, Circle of Tribal Advisors of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, Grand Junction, CO: Colorado Printing Company, 2010; and “Early Contact and Incursion, 1700-1850” in Wiyaxayxt/Wiyaakaa’awn = As Days Go By: Our History, Our Land, Our People—The Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla, ed. Jennifer Karson, University of Washington Press, 2006.

Cheryl Gunselman is Manuscripts Librarian at the Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections at the Washington State University Libraries, Pullman. Her publications include “‘Wheedling, Wangling, and Walloping’ for Progress: The Public Service Career of Cornelia Marvin Pierce, 1905-1943,” Oregon Historical Quarterly 110.3 (Fall 2009): 362-389; “Cornelia Marvin Pierce and Mary Frances Isom, Leaders of Oregon’s Library Movement,” Library Trends 52.4 (Spring 2004): 877-901; and, with Roderick Sprague, “A Buried Promise: The Palus Jefferson Presidential Peace Medal,” Journal of Northwest Anthropology 37.1 (Spring 2003): 53-88.

Chad Hamill (Spokan) is Associate Professor of Applied Indigenous Studies and Vice President of Native American Initiatives at Northern Arizona University, where he specializes in music and sovereignty, music and spirituality, and Indigenous ecological knowledge.  He is the author of Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau: The Jesuit, the Medicine Man, and the Indian Hymn Singer, Oregon State University Press, 2012; “American Indian Jazz: Mildred Bailey and the Origins of America’s Most Musical Art Form,” in Indigenous Pop, University of Arizona Press, 2016; and “Indian Classical Music as Taught in the West: The Reshaping of Tradition?” in Cultural Diversity in Music Education: Directions and Challenges for the 21st Century, Queensland: Australian Academic Press, 2005: 143-150.

Alexandra Harmon is Professor Emerita of American Indian Studies and History at the University of Washington, specializing in History, Law and Political Thought, and Race and Ethnicity.  She has published Rich Indians: Native People and the Problem of Wealth in American History, University of North Carolina Press, 2010; Indians in the Making: Ethnic Relations and Indian Identities around Puget Sound, University of California Press, 1998; The Power of Promises: Rethinking Pacific Northwest Indian Treaties (editor), Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008; “Coast Salish History,” in Be of Good Mind: Essays on the Coast Salish, ed. Bruce G. Miller, Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007; and “Indian Treaty History: A Subject for Agile Minds,” Oregon Historical Quarterly (Fall 2005): 358-373.

Michael Holloman (Colville) is Associate Professor of Art History and Fine Arts at Washington State University, specializing in contemporary art and contemporary Indigenous art. He is also the former director of Plateau Cultural Studies at the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture (MAC).  He contributed to Indian Summers—The Nespelem Art Colony 1937‐1941 on KSPS Public Television, Spokane, WA, as consultant and respondent (2016) and presented such lectures as “Clyfford Still: The Colville Indian Reservation and the Nespelem Art Colony.” His selected exhibitions and group shows include “SGiGialtx @20: Building Upon the Past, Visioning Into the Future, Longhouse Education and Cultural Center 20th Anniversary Exhibition” at The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA (2016); “Not Vanishing” Contemporary Expressions in Indigenous Art, 1977‐2015. Museum of Northwest Art, LaConner, WA (2015); and “Terrain: Plateau Native Art & Poetry” (Contemporary American Indian Prints) The Evergreen State College Gallery, Olympia, WA (2014).

Amy Lonetree (Ho-Chunk) is Associate Professor of History at UC-Santa Cruz, specializing in Indigenous history, Museum Studies, commemoration and public memory, Native American cultural production, and Ho-Chunk Tribal history.  She has published Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums, University of North Carolina Press, 2012; with Tom Jones, Michael Schmudlach, Matthew Daniel Mason and George A. Greendeer, People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942, Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011; The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations, University of Nebraska Press, 2008 (co-edited with Amanda J. Cobb); and “Native Articulations: Representing Indigenous History, Art, and Culture in Exhibitions,” Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals 7.4 (2011): 429-431.

Ben Murphy is Archivist and Head of Digital Services in the Whitman College and Northwest Archives in Penrose Library, and also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science. He teaches a course on archival research methods, and collaborates with Whitman faculty to integrate archives, rare books and manuscripts into the curriculum. He has published and presented on topics such as information literacy, digital humanities and digital collections. 

Scott Manning Stevens (Mohawk) is Associate Professor and Director of Native American Studies at Syracuse University, specializing in visual culture, museum studies, and Native American literatures. He has published broadly, including “Native America, Collectors, and Museums: from Cabinets of Curiosities to Indigenous Cultural Centers,” in The Oxford Handbook of American Indian History, ed. Frederick Hoxie. Oxford University Press, 2016; Why You Can’t Teach United States History without American Indians, eds. Susan Sleeper-Smith, Juliana Barr, Jean M. O’Brien, Nancy Shoemaker, and Scott Manning Stevens, University of North Carolina Press, 2015; and Art of the American West: The Haub Family Collection at Tacoma Art Museum, coauthored with Laura Fry and Peter Hassrick, Yale University Press, 2014.