Building on the collaborative, community-engaged work of the American Philosophical Society’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR), the APS Library & Museum launched The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Native American Scholars Initiative (NASI) in 2016 to foster the development of the next generation of Indigenous and allied students and scholars. 

As part of its NASI initiative, CNAIR will host a three-day conference in Philadelphia on September 24-26, 2020. The conference, “Relationships, Reciprocity, and Responsibilities: Indigenous Studies in Archives and Beyond” will reflect new and emerging scholarship in Native American and Indigenous Studies and allied fields. Recent scholarship has emphasized the importance of relationships and relationship-building both with and within Indigenous communities; the significance of reciprocity in identifying, establishing, and maintaining community-based priorities; and an increased responsibility to decolonize scholarship, institutions, and collections.

The conference committee welcomes proposals for papers and presentations that explore recent developments in Native American and Indigenous Studies, and is especially interested in:

  • Community-engaged scholarship, including papers that discuss best practices, models of successful partnerships, and the place of archives in such work
  • Modes of learning and teaching that involve archives and collections
  • Initiatives in language revitalization
  • Documentation and archival practices, especially of endangered languages. 
  • Decolonization efforts in archives and other repositories 
  • Development of archives, libraries, and museums in/by Indigenous communities
  • The role of new technologies to encourage and foster such work
  • The work of emerging scholars in Native American and Indigenous Studies

The conference committee especially encourages proposals from campus and community-based scholars; members of Indigenous communities; library, archive, and museum professionals; and other scholars working in Native American and Indigenous Studies and allied fields. 

Applicants should submit a title and a 250-word proposal related to these themes, along with a 1-page C.V., by April 15, 2020 via Interfolio:

Decisions will be announced in June. 

All presenters will receive travel subsidies and hotel accommodations. Accepted panelists will be asked to prepare remarks appropriate for a broad range of audiences and for video streaming. Presenters whose projects have utilized APS materials may also have the opportunity to publish revised papers in the APS’s Proceedings, one of the longest running scholarly journals in America. 

For more information, visit, or contact Adrianna Link, Head of Scholarly Programs, at

Adrianna Link: contributions / website /