American Indian Studies red and black logoThank you for celebrating our 50-year anniversary on Indigenous Peoples’ Day! During our event we heard from key leaders in the program’s history, such as Emerita Faculty Ada Deer, about the creation of the program, the role of student activism, and the significance of the program to diversity and inclusion at the university. We dove deeper into these stories through the AIS Oral History Project website, which was launched at the event and allowed the community to hear firsthand about the history of our program from the people who were there.

This collaborative project included the work of AIS faculty, student researchers, and partners from across campus. Following the panel discussion was a Student Poster Session showcasing undergraduate and graduate student research related to Native issues.

This event took place on October 10, 2022, and was free and open to the public.

October 10, 2022 Event Schedule

3:00-4:30 PM | Panel Discussion | H.F. Deluca Forum

Hear from key leaders in the AIS program, such as Ms. Ada Deer, UW-Madison Emerita Faculty, and Former AIS Director. Ms. Deer, who was the first woman to head the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, is an activist, social work professional, and community leader.

4:30-5:30 PM | Student Poster Session | Discovery Building Rotunda

Student research related to a diverse array of Native issues will be featured at this poster session. Learn more about the exciting research our students are conducting in partnership with faculty and Native communities.


Join our sponsors in supporting the work of American Indian Studies today! Donate to our department fund here to help support student opportunities, faculty scholarship, and community engagement.

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Celebrating with Purpose

The AIS 50th Anniversary Celebration and Oral History Project aim to celebrate the rich history of the American Indian Studies Program on the UW-Madison campus and to create an enthusiastic vision for its future at this key moment in Fall 2022, 50 years after the program was founded in 1972.

This project and celebration expand and build on the momentum of key Initiatives at UW-Madison to celebrate American Indian history and presence on campus. We align with these initiatives by centering our work on American Indian Studies, Native voices, Native students, and the community outreach which AIS has long championed. The AIS Program and Oral History Project are excited to share their important work with the UW community and beyond. We invite members of the campus community, the Native communities, and the broader Madison community to join us in celebration and reflection on where we’ve been and where we are going!

Thanks to our sponsors!

University of Wisconsin, Madison logo

UW Madison School of Human Ecology logo

Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement logo

Indigenous EcoWell Initiative logo

Funding is provided by the Anonymous and Knapp Funds and co-sponsored by the Departments of English, Anthropology, and Language Sciences.