Recent Alumni News

AIS is proud to support the new UW Canoe Family, č̓away̓altxʷ ʔiišəd (translated to Shell House Family from Lushootseed), a name gifted to the Canoe Family by AIS Professor, Tami Hohn (Puyallup). This summer marked the first Canoe Journey č̓away̓altxʷ ʔiišəd travelled on. This Journey was embarked on with great care. The Canoe Family met throughout the year to prepare every aspect, from carving paddles with CAIIS’s Native knowledge-in-residence coordinator Philip Red Eagle (Dakota/Salish),… Read more
Read more
 Kristy Lee graduated 2020 from the UW with a B.A in English Language and Literature and a minor in American Indian Studies. Kristy is a Associate Project Manager at Qualitest (formerly Q Analysts) in Kirkland, WA, where she collects training data for machine learning and artificial intelligence, primarily through user studies. AIS program has taught Kristy a lot. "Taking American Indian Studies courses at UW showed me the importance of diversity and minority representation in all areas, even… Read more
Last March, 2022, the UW welcomed its first official Director of Tribal Relations. Sherri Berdine is a UW graduate, former AIS student, and Alaskan Native. In a recent article in the College of Arts and Sciences' Perspectives newsletter, Berdine credits First Nations and AIS Professor Dian Million with helping her feel welcome and finding her place at the University.  We're so excited to have Sherri on campus and are looking forward to the big dreams and projects she's taking on. Read the full… Read more
Dr. Michael Tulee, UW alum and AIS Instructor, Director of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, is helping Seattle regain a Native perspective. This story was published by the Seattle Times on January 4th, 2023 and we're excited to share it with you all. More than 150 years after Seattle’s government tried to ban Native residents and more than 50 years after Native activists embarked on a campaign to regain waterfront access in the city, a space dedicated to Coast Salish canoe culture… Read more
Pheži Ĥóta Naĝí-wiŋ, Sierra Red Bow (Oglála Lakȟóta), UW graduate from American Indian Studies and Environmental Science and Resource Management 2021, now works at EchoX (Ethnic Cultural Heritage Online Exchange), an ethnic and cultural nonprofit, which hosts over 1,800 cultural organizations and individuals belonging to over 120 different cultures based in the Pacific Northwest, fifty-six of which are American Indian or Alaska Native cultures. She’s… Read more
Stephanie Masterman is finishing a busy few years at the University of Washington. Stephanie will graduate this Spring with her major in AIS with Departmental Honors, only our second student to do so, and a minor in Arctic Studies. She was an Ocean Nexus Research Fellow, a delegate for the Washington chapter of her tribal government, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, an active member of First Nations at UW, and dedicated… Read more
Many at the University remember Laura De Vos for their engaging academic discussion and the students for their wonderful teaching as an AIS lecturer. We are proud to share that last week Laura was announced as the 2021 winner of the Beatrice Medicine Award for Best Published Academic Essay for their essay “Spiralic Time and Cultural Continuity for Indigenous Sovereignty: Idle No More and The Marrow Thieves” which was published in Transmotion 6.2. The award is bestowed by the… Read more
Leonard Forsman, chairman of the Suquamish Tribe and president of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, will become the first Native American to serve on the University of Washington Board of Regents Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday, Oct. 25. Forsman earned his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the university in 1987. “As a student in the early 1980s, I dreamed of a day when Tribal students and Tribal nations would be recognized appropriately on campus and beyond,” Forsman said in a… Read more
Read more
Anna Hohag graduated from the AIS program in 2011 and is currently working as a Tribal Attorney. "AIS courses exposed me to the most relevant and empowering education, curriculum, history, and indigenous voices— something I had not received in my public education up to that point."  Anna says her favorite part of the AIS program was sharing Raven’s Feast with her family, the UW and Seattle Community, and professors. If she could give advice to those that are considering to major/minor in AIS,… Read more
Read more
Justin Dissmo graduated from the AIS program in 2012. When asked why he decided to study AIS, he said, "I’m a Puyallup tribal member, and have a desire to grow my knowledge in the history of indigenous America. One of the most memorable parts of being in AIS was working on my senior thesis with the guidance of the late Marvin Oliver. To anyone considering a major or minor in AIS, follow your heart, and be thankful for every moment."  Justin is currently a pasta chef and ceramic artist.