Advisory Council

Kirby Brown, NAIS director

Department: English

Official title: Associate Professor and Director, Native American and Indigenous Studies

Why you're part of the NAIS advisory committee: To support Indigenous students and to provide them a welcoming, safe, supportive, and tightly-knit intellectual community of inside and outside of the classroom; to grow the intellectual and place-/community-centered mission of NAIS; to increase the visibility of Indigenous peoples and Native Studies across campus and around the region; and to amplify Indigenous faculty, staff, and student representation across campus. 

What you like to do outside work: Play golf, hike, camp, listen to music, pick around on the guitar and sing with my family and my wife, cook/grill/bbq, piddle for hours in the garden, watch films and binge interesting tv, FaceTime with family, host family and friends, travel every chance I get, listen to cool podcasts, hang out at the Longhouse and with the NAIS ARC, and generally have as good a time as I possibly can while also getting things done!   

Brian Klopotek

Department: Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies

Official title: Associate Professor and Department Head, IRES

Why you're part of the NAIS advisory committee: My scholarship, teaching, and service are all rooted in Native life. I try to use my position to create structures that support Native people inside and outside the academic world; building a Native American and Indigenous studies program here at University of Oregon in Kalapuya ilihi has been one way to do that. 

What you like to do outside work: Outside of work, I like to root for the Packers, play sjima, basketball, and any other recreational sports, hang out with family and friends, do bad art, bad carpentry, and bad gardening, try out new recipes, fight the power, dream and scheme, live that good life.

Gabriela Pérez Báez

Department: Linguistics

Official title: Associate Professor

Why you're part of the NAIS advisory committee: My work in Linguistics focuses on the revitalization of minoritized languages and more specifically, Indigenous languages of Mesoamerica and Northamerica. I therefore welcome the opportunity to add to the NAIS program a perspective informed by the experiences of Mesoamerican peoples in language revitalization and in linguistic rights more broadly. 

What you like to do outside work: Run, yoga, walk with my dogs, tend chickens, and grow and cook food for my family, especially food that I grew up with in Mexico.

Michelle Jacob

Department: Education Studies

Official title: Professor

Why you're part of the NAIS advisory committee: NAIS is a crucial way that higher education is accountable to, and support of, Indigenous self-determination and Tribal Sovereignty. 

What you like to do outside work: I enjoy camping at the many beautiful places around the Columbia River basin. I also love to write! Check out my latest books, The Auntie Way and Huckleberries & Coyotes.

Leilani Sabzalian

Department: Education Studies

Official title: Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies in Education

Why you're part of the NAIS advisory committee: Gathering with other Native studies scholars to ensure Native studies has a strong presence on campus brings me a lot of joy. 

What you like to do outside work: Spend time with my family, go running, and play soccer.

Jennifer O'Neal, Faculty Portrait

Department: Indigenous, Race and Ethnic Studies

Official title: Assistant Professor

Why you're part of the NAIS advisory committee: I’m on the committee due to my expertise in the areas of Native American history, decolonizing methodologies, place-based education and Indigenous knowledge systems. I want to ensure our program supports, centers, and reflects Native American perspectives and ways of knowing, through respectful, reciprocal and sovereignty-affirming relationships and partnerships with the state and regional tribal communities. 

What you like to do outside work: Outside of work I enjoy spending time outdoors and being active, especially hiking, running, biking.

Ashley Cordes, Faculty Portrait

Department(s): English, Environmental Studies

Official Title: Assistant Professor

Why you're a part of the NAIS Advisory Council: My work is bound by the goal of creating meaningful projects that address important questions about the interplay between Indigenous digital media, the environment, sovereignty, racialization, decolonization, and cultural resurgence. I’m on the committee to serve Indigenous students and communities in what is now known as Oregon, near my ancestral homelands, and to collaborate with our excellent Indigenous faculty. 

What you like to do outside of work: I enjoy spending time with my two fluffy cats and hiking, traveling, camping, and painting. 

Lana Lopesi
Lana Lopesi (Samoan)

Department(s): Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies 

Official Title: Assistant Professor

Why you're a part of the NAIS Advisory Council: My teaching, research and joy is all centered on serving Samoan, Pacific and Indigenous communities. So, I am part of the council to continue to serve and provide tautua to Indigenous students on campus including those whose Indigeneity is from a place beyond these shores.

What you like to do outside of work: I love to spend time with my kids who constantly make me laugh, read, look at art and cringe watch reality TV (it’s about balance!).

Sage Hatch
Sage Hatch (Confederated Tribes of Siletz)

Department:  Education (Critical and Sociocultural Studies In Education)

Official Title: PhD Student

Why you're part of the NAIS advisory committee: I was invited to participate in this important work by UO Indigenous faculty on campus and saw it as an opportunity to contribute to the amazing work being done at the University of Oregon, and work alongside people I respect, and with material I am passionate about.

What you like to do outside of work: I like to walk my dog (Nak), archery, fishing, hiking, reading, watching movies when I get the chance, engaging in community building, educating where the opportunity presents itself, and learning whenever possible.

Marta Lu Clifford
Marta Lu Clifford (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde)

Department:  Native American and Indigenous Studies, NAIS ARC 

Official Title: Elder-in-Residence, Faculty 

Why you're part of the NAIS advisory committee: To support Indigenous students and provide a safe place for them to grow, learn and be a part of Community. To continue to be an advocate for the students in the Indigenous community at UO, to make sure they are safe and taken care of. I want the students to have the extra support. I want the students to know they have an Elder they can go to.

What you like to do outside of work: Read, write poetry and stories, sit in my front yard and watch my flowers grow, spend time with my family, walk along the river (any river), take people on Kalapuya Talking Stones tours, spend time with my dog, and going to coffee and lunch with my daughter.