Wilson, Waziyatawin Angela 1968- (Angela Cavender Wilson)

views updated

Wilson, Waziyatawin Angela 1968- (Angela Cavender Wilson)


Born February 13, 1968, in Virginia, MN; daughter of Chris Mato Nunpa (an academic) and Edith Brown Travers (a social service director); married Scott Wilson, 1992; children: Autumn, Talon, Sage. Ethnicity: "Dakota." Education: University of Minnesota, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1992; Cornell University, M.A., 1996, Ph.D., 2000. Politics: "Indigenous Liberationist."


Home—Granite Falls, MN. E-mail—[email protected]


Academic. Arizona State University, Tempe, assistant professor, 2000-06, associate professor, 2006—.


Dakota Commemorative Marches (planning committee, 2002—).


(Editor, as Angela Cavender Wilson, with Devon Abbott Mihesuah) Indigenizing the Academy:Transforming Scholarship and Empowering Communities, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2004.

(Editor, with Michael Yellow Bird) For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook, School of American Research (Santa Fe, NM), 2005.

Remember This! Dakota Decolonization and the Eli Taylor Narratives, translations of the Dakota text by Wahpetunwin Carolynn Schommer, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2005.

(Editor) In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors: The Dakota Commemorative Marches of the 21st Century, Living Justice Press (St. Paul, MN), 2006.

Contributor of chapters to scholarly books and entries to encyclopedias. Contributor to journals and periodicals, including Oral History Forum, Perspectives, and American Indian Quarterly. Guest editor of the American Indian Quarterly.


Waziyatawin Angela Wilson is a Dakota American academic and scholar of indigenous American studies. Wilson entered academia as an assistant professor at Arizona State University after completing a Ph.D. at Cornell University. Wilson edited her first book, Indigenizing the Academy: Transforming Scholarship and Empowering Communities, in 2004 with Devon Abbott Mihesuah.

In 2005 Wilson edited For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook with Michael Yellow Bird. The book compiles essays from eight indigenous American academics and writers with the aim of enabling U.S. and Canadian indigenous peoples to decolonize themselves from the status quo. Across the twelve chapters, the contributors explain the concepts of colonization and decolonization; explore perceptions of citizenship and organizational and governmental structures; and write on a range of other ideas, including education, language, oral traditions, repatriation, diet, stereotypes and public images, and the role of truth telling. Each section contains questions for discussion, suggested activities and readings, and several glossaries.

Wilson told CA: "I am Wahpetunwan Dakota from Pezihutazizi K'api Makoce (‘The Land Where They Dig for Yellow Medicine’), also known as the Upper Sioux Reservation, located in southwestern Minnesota.

It is that sense of indigeneity that fuels my desire for revolutionary change, a change that would see my nation living free and independent in our homeland. As an indigenous intellectual, I believe it is my role to help achieve it. As a scholar I have been particularly invested in exploring the ways in which cultural traditions assist in the contemporary struggle against colonialism and the strengthening of indigenous nationhood. Within an academic context, this investment is the greatest factor compelling quality research and scholarly productivity.

"I began my career in the academy working specifically with Dakota language and oral tradition and those topics have served as the foundation of two primary research monographs, Remember This! Dakota Decolonization and the Eli Taylor Narratives and my current project, A Low-Rumbling Thunder: A Dakota Women's Stories of Resistance and Survival. In addition, while my edited volume In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors: The Dakota Commemorative Marches of the 21st Century is also Dakota-specific, it illustrates the violent processes of conquest and forced removal similarly perpetrated against hundreds of thousands of indigenous people and consequently speaks to a more expansive audience.

"All three of these works contribute to the recovery of indigenous knowledge and privilege the Dakota worldview, language, and oral traditions as expressed by our relatives on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border. Furthermore, these community-supported projects (and community-initiated projects in the case of the book In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors) have required me to maintain focus on the needs of my nation while also being accountable to the people."



American Indian Culture and Research Journal, fall, 2005, Raymond Buckoo, review of Remember This! Dakota Decolonization and the Eli Taylor Narratives.

Journal of the West, spring, 2007, Miles D. Lewis, review of Remember This!

Reference & Research Book News, May, 2006, review of For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook.

Western Historical Quarterly, summer, 2007, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, review of Remember This!