UMaine a site for ‘Raising Indigenous Voices in Academia and Society’ on Oct. 24

The University of Maine is one of five international sites of the 2022 Raising Indigenous Voices in Academia & Society (RIVAS) conference, acknowledging the contributions of Indigenous Peoples globally, Oct. 20–25.

RIVAS supports the scholarship of Indigenous academics and speakers whose cultures help shape linguistics, archeology, cultural anthropology and other academic disciplines, and also acknowledges the contributions of Indigenous Peoples globally to society.

Organized by host institution the University of Montana, the conference is in hybrid format, featuring speakers and presentations in person and online. UMaine’s Wells Conference Center is an in-person site of the conference on Oct. 24. Other sites worldwide are Al-Quds Open University, Palestine; Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation, Australia; The Centre for the Anthropology of Sustainability, University College London, U.K.

Among the invited keynote speakers is Darren Ranco, UMaine professor of anthropology and chair of Native American Studies, and a member of the Penobscot Nation. Ranco’s presentation, entitled “Decolonizing Land Relations in the Dawnland: Landback and Rematriation Across Wabanakik” will be featured in a livestream Oct. 22, and he also will chair a live panel Oct. 24 in Wells on Wabanaki voices. UMaine instructor and member of the Penobscot Nation Sherri Mitchell (Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset) will deliver a keynote live at UMaine on Oct. 24 entitled “Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change.” 

UMaine faculty are encouraged to let their students know about the in-person conference at Wells on Oct. 24. The conference is free and open to the public. Faculty may also want to consider incorporating the conference livestream into their classes this fall. For more information about either in-person or livestream participation, contact Lisa Neuman,

RIVAS 2022 is designed for rising Indigenous scholars to share their work and connect with a wider scholarly network, and for speakers to exchange ideas and constructive debate within the field of global Indigenous studies. Speakers will explore past, present and future Indigenous experiences in both academic and nonacademic contexts, including Indigenous scholars and communities, who will present their viewpoints on local and global phenomena, histories, and issues. Speakers will discuss and raise awareness about positive trends as well as the obstacles that still hamper the participation of Indigenous scholars within an arena of global academic discourse, according to the conference website.