Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order of January 27, 2017

The American Society for Ethnohistory (ASE) objects strongly to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order of January 27, 2017, issued purportedly to safeguard the country “from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.” The broad-based international membership of our Society makes clear the significant and detrimental impact this order will have on thousands of innocent people, especially people housed in refugee camps across the world who have waited months, and  sometimes years, for immigration interviews that have now been canceled.  Furthermore, President Trump’s edict bars from entry travelers en route to the United States with valid visas or other pertinent documentation, especially students and academic colleagues, the very life-blood of our scholarly communities.

The ASE represents teachers and researchers who study and teach Indigenous histories; essential to our endeavor are on-going interactions with foreign colleagues and access to archives and conferences overseas. The executive order threatens global scholarly networks that our members have cultivated over decades. By establishing a religious test that favors Christians over Muslims from designated countries, this action jeopardizes the open exchange of ideas upon which all scholarship ultimately depends. It directly affects thousands of individuals currently studying in our universities and colleges, detracts from our ability to attract international students in the future, and undermines our ability to incorporate foreign born scholars in research activities of the utmost scientific caliber.

The ASE draws on the long standing Indigenous tradition of reaching out to people throughout the world who need our help and support. During the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s, more than a million people perished in Ireland when a blight decimated potato crops, the primary food source for almost half their population. The impoverished Choctaw Nation, shortly after being removed from their homelands and forced to walk the Trail Of Tears, scraped together $170 to send to Ireland to help feed starving people. Just when the Irish thought nobody cared, Native people from across the world reached out to lend a helping hand. A sculpture recently erected in Cork, Ireland pays tribute to the generosity of the Native American Choctaw. The ASE represents the global hand of friendship that reaches out to those refugees who are being thoughtlessly turned away by Trump’s executive order.

Sadly, President Trump issued his order on Holocaust Remembrance Day, when all Americans vividly recall the implications of such actions. America’s refusal to admit refugees during the 1930s denied entry to Jews and others fleeing Nazi Germany. Hostility toward a particular religious group combined with suspicions of disloyalty and potential subversion by supposed radicals slammed shut the door on millions of refugees. Many were subsequently murdered as part Nazi Germany’s “final solution” to the “Jewish question.” Many today who attempt to flee repressive regimes in the Mideast are condemned to similar fates.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

If we are to honor these words, enshrined on our Statue of Liberty at the entrance to New York harbor, we must ask President Trump to revoke his executive order immediately. We call upon him to respect, and continue, the American and Indigenous traditions of welcoming the oppressed to our caring midst.



Call for Papers
American Society for Ethnohistory
2017 Conference

October 12-14, 2017
Fairmont Hotel

ᐄᐧᓂᐯᐠ  Wînipêk Winnipeg, Manitoba

 “Borders: Visible and Invisible”

Visit the Conference Website at www.ethnohistory2017.com

Located at the intersection of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, the city of Winnipeg, which gets its name from the Cree word for “muddy waters” rests near the geographic and latitudinal heart of North America on Canadian Treaty 1 lands. The long history of this place going back thousands of years is humbling given the communities of Assiniboine, Cree, Dene, Dakota, Inuit, Métis and Ojibwe who made the lakes, rivers, and prairies of Manitoba their home negotiated the first treaties following the confederation of Canada, sought Truth and Reconciliation and decided to be Idle no . The rivers that drew Native people here also brought French traders to the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers in 1738, while the British sailed their trading ships into the enormous bay they named after Henry Hudson and competed with the French for Indigenous allies and environmental resources.  The Selkirk settlers established the Red River colony in 1811, and the intervention of Americans favoring annexation of the region contributed to the political chaos that spawned the Métis Red River resistance whose leader, Louis Riel, resisted the confederate government of Canada and US annexation pressures to found the province of Manitoba.  In recent years Winnipeg has grown to become the seventh largest city in Canada, known for its flourishing arts scene, green spaces, the Manitoba and Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, the Manitoba Museum, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the new Canadian Museum of Human . Winnipeg continues to remain an indigenous space with one of the highest percentages of First Nation, Innuit and, Métis peoples calling it home of any major North American City; it continues to be an intersection between Canada’s indigenous and settler cultures.  2017 will mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.  Please join us to celebrate this historical moment at a vibrant historical place.

Borderlands studies have reoriented understandings of settler and interactions while reconsidering and complicating important links between the environment, politics, society, and culture in in-between spaces. Ethnohistorians continue to seek new methods, including incorporating oral history, literature, language revitalization, digital humanities, and community initiated projects into their scholarship in order to give voice to the stories of indigenous communities. This scholarship works to bridge the borders that continue to divide academia from communities. The American Society for Ethnohistory’s 2017 program committee encourages submission of proposals that will illuminate the visible and invisible borders created across landscapes, within societies, between cultures or political states, divide communities, and highlight the events and ideas that encourage breaking down walls and barriers as well as the bridges across borders and boundaries that seek reconciliation.

Please submit your proposal as a MS Word document to ethnohistory2017@gmail.com by April 30 2017.  Notification of the status of the submission by June 15, 2017.

Please follow the guidelines below for Individual Papers, Panels, Roundtable Discussion Panels, film Screenings, and Poster Sessions.

Individual Paper, Poster Session, and Film Screening Proposal:  Please include with your abstract a brief, one-page curriculum vitae.  When submitting your file via email to ethnohistory2017@gmail.com please save the file as Lastname_Individual.docx and your c.v. as Lastname_CV.doc

ABSTRACT:  250-300 words; single-spaced
Institutional affiliation
Mailing Address and Email

Paper Panel and Roundtable Discussion Panel Proposal:  In your panel proposal please be sure to include a one-paragraph description of the panel that details the panel title, proposed Chair and Commentator for the panel, number of papers to be included in the panel, and for each of the participants submit the abstracts of individual paper proposals.  For the files submitted to ethnohistory2017@gmail.com please save the entire panel proposal (including individual abstracts and panel description) with the Organizer’s Last name as Lastname_Panel.docx and then include brief one-page curriculum vitae for each participant in one document with the Organizer’s Last name as Lastname_CV.docx

Institutional Affiliation
Mailing Address and Email

Audiovisual Equipment:  All breakout rooms at the Fairmont Hotel will include a computer LCD projector and screen.  Please make sure to bring your presentation with you on a flash drive and please make sure to let the program organizer (Cary Miller, carym@uwm.edu) know if you need further equipment for a film screening

Program Committee

Cary Miller (Chair), University of Manitoba
Rebecca Kugel, University of California-Riverside
Lucy Murphy, The Ohio State University
Jennifer Brown, University of Winnipeg (emeritus)
Regna Darnell, University of Western Ontario
Rose Stremlau, Davidson College
Jennifer Hughes, University of California-Riverside
Patricia Harms, Brandon University
Nicole St. Onge, University of Ottawa

Who are we?

The American Society for Ethnohistory is the preeminent international organization in the field and sponsors the journal Ethnohistory. In membership and purpose, it represents the interests of communities as well as academics from a variety of disciplines – cultural anthropology, history, Native American studies, archaeology, ecology, linguistics, and other related disciplines. The unifying factor is a commitment to the mission of our association – professionals from a variety of backgrounds who are helping to create a more inclusive picture of the histories of native groups in the Americas.


Statement in Solidarity with Standing Rock

The Executive Committee unanimously passed the following resolution, which was announced and read at the annual meeting.

The American Society for Ethnohistory, a scholarly organization that began with a group of researchers who aided Native communities in claims against the U.S. Government during the Claims Commissions of the 1950s, stands in solidarity with the Oceti Sakowin Oyate (Great Sioux Nation), the Standing Rock Sioux, and the numerous other Native people and communities who oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline on grounds that it violates the legitimate sovereignty of the Standing Rock Sioux to protect water and cultural sites. Native peoples like the Sioux are integral parts of our nation’s fabric, with unique and valuable knowledge to contribute to pressing problems of mutual concern. Too often in our history their voices have been ignored, their lands forcibly taken, and their culture denigrated. In this conflict, they and all Native peoples deserve a sincere hearing of their concerns and a meaningful place at the negotiation table. The Society additionally decries the use of force by authorities in attempting to remove protectors from the site.

The Executive Committee urges its members to take action and support the water protectors at the Oceti Sakowin Camp.


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